Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2015.



The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 July 2015 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies & Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Councillors Carter, Chapman-Allen and Sharpe.  Councillor Joel was present as Substitute for Councillor Sharpe.



Declaration of Interest and of Representations Received (Agenda Item 3)

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.


The following declarations were made regarding Agenda Item 10:


Schedule Item 1 (Yaxham) – Councillor Duigan declared that he had received direct representation about this item.


Schedule Item 2 (Scoulton) – Councillor Bowes declared that her family had known the landowners for a long time.  She had also worked with one of the objectors on a Charity.  Having taken legal advice from the Solicitor she would leave the room whilst the item was determined.

All Members had received direct representation about this item.

For transparency, Councillor Wilkin noted that he represented the Council on the Hingham Education Trust which rented land to local farmers to raise money to help Hingham residents with their further education.  He was not aware if the application site was linked in any way to that charity.


Schedule Item 6 (Shipdham) – the Ward Representative was unable to attend and had therefore sent an e-mail supporting the application, together with a letter from the applicant.  Copies had been tabled for all Members at the start of the meeting.


Agenda Item 15 (Enforcement Update).

All Members had received direct representation.





Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


Members were reminded that there would be a training session immediately following the meeting.



Requests to Defer Applications included in this Agenda (Agenda Item 5)

To consider any requests from Ward Members, officers or applicants to defer an application included in this agenda, so as to save any unnecessary waiting by members of the public attending for such applications.


Agenda Item 10 – the planning application at Schedule Item 9 (Yaxham) had been withdrawn.



Urgent Business (Agenda Item 6)

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.





Local Plan Update (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To receive an update. 


The Planning Policy Team Leader advised Members that good progress continued to be made on the Local Plan. A presentation of the strategic housing market assessment and the calculation of the objectively assessed needs would be made by the consultants to the September Cabinet.  It would feed through into the setting of the housing target, spatial strategy and settlement numbers and allow progress to be made on the prioritising of suitable sites.


In terms of other evidence base studies consultants for the Habitats regulation assessment would shortly be appointed and two further studies; for affordable housing viability and a Dereham Transport study were currently out to tender.


Since the last planning committee, the Neighbourhood Plan area for Dereham had been approved by the Council.


Councillor Claussen asked for clarification of whether the Dereham transport study would include the hinterland areas as well.  He was advised that the study would inform on growth levels around Dereham and would look at key junctions.  Growth options from the Local Plan would feed into the study and development in the surrounding villages would also be taken into consideration.  Councillor Claussen asked for that information in writing.



2015 Annual Statement of Five Year Housing Land Supply (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Report of the Executive Director, Commercialisation.


Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Team Leader presented the report.


The Council was required to update the 5 year housing land supply information annually. The details were summarised in the agenda pack with the full report that would be published.


The 5 year supply calculation was a comparison of the anticipated supply of new homes against the number of new homes that were required to be built in the core strategy plus a 20% buffer which was required to be applied by national policy through the NPPF.


The figure was a snap shot in time as of 1 April 2015.


The assessment incorporated a range of sites including those with planning permission, allocations, and wind fall and was based on survey results from developers, development assumptions and past trends.  A cautious approach had been adopted.


Against the housing target the Council was 2,333 dwellings below the required number. Once that deficit was added to the target for the five year period (as per the Sedgfield method) it created a new target of 1,247 new dwellings per year which equated to a 4.18 year supply of deliverable land.  With the 20% buffer applied that reduced to 3.79 years supply.  The figures for the same time last year were 3.72 and 3.29 years.


Under-delivery of housing in the past was not a reflection of the Council’s ability to allocate land for housing development. The Council had made good progress in bringing forward allocations and in granting planning permissions.   The reasons for under delivery were complex and influenced by a number of factors beyond the Council’s control including market forces and slow implementation of sites with planning permission, etc.


Breckland was not alone in failing to have a 5 year land supply.  The Greater Norwich joint policy area had claimed to have a 5.10 year supply in December 2014.  However, following a recent appeal where the methodology had been questioned that figure had been amended to4.89 – 4.94 years and Kings Lynn had claimed to have 7.51 years supply but following an appeal that figure had been reduced to 1.91 years.


A Planning Advisory Service survey in 2014 stated that 54% of councils claimed to have a 5 years supply, but in June 2015 Savills published data claiming that 43% of the councils claiming to have a five year land supply did not, in fact have one.


Councillor Duigan thought that the expected delivery figures for some sites were optimistic.  For example, 368 dwellings were expected from the Thetford Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) by April 2017 and the Outline planning permission had not yet been signed.  He felt that the figure of 1300 for Breckland in 2017 was also optimistic.  He asked for a definition of housing delivery.


The Planning Policy Team Leader explained that the Thetford figures represented an average of the expected delivery over the next five years.  When the annual monitoring survey was carried out Officers visited every site and asked for the number of completions or did a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.


Deferred Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 40 KB

To consider applications deferred at previous meetings including some, but not all, of those shown on the attached Schedule of Deferred Applications.





Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 152 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Mr & Mrs William Morfoot




Thornalley Funeral Services Ltd




MMC Norfolk Ltd




Mr & Mrs David Greenwood




Mr David Yaxley

Holme Hale



Mrs Kathy McCarthy




Mr K B Simington




Mr Ian McIntosh

Stow Bedon/ Breckles



Mr & Mrs Rob Thomas




Mr & Mrs Russell




Mr R Parker & Miss T Newbold

Whinburgh & Westfield




Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)       Item 1: YAXHAM: Land off Elm Close: Residential development: Applicant: Mr & Mrs William Moorfoot: Reference: 3PL/2014/0820/O


All Members had received direct representation on this application.


This was an outline application with only the principle of residential development to be considered.  Indicative layouts had been provided which had started with a proposal for 44 dwellings.  That had since been reduced to 35 and then 30.  The indicative layout plan showed detached dwellings and provided five allotments.  There would be mixed housing types and 40% affordable housing would be provided.  Objections had been raised concerning various matters which could be addressed at the Reserved Matters stage.


Mr Gillian (Objector) strongly opposed the development.  Most Yaxham residents did not want development outside the Settlement Boundary.  There was not enough infrastructure to support 30 dwellings which equated to 15% of existing homes in Yaxham.  The schools, doctors and dentists were full.


Mr Tuddenham (Agent) noted the Council’s lack of a five year housing land supply and said that the proposal met the three tests of sustainability.  The village had good public transport and the proposal would provide affordable housing and financial contributions to education and other services as well as providing five allotments and improved pedestrian access.


Councillor Dimoglou (Ward Representative) was a long term resident of Yaxham and in favour of development.  Elm Close had been built with a gateway for future development.  A lot of the local concerns had been taken into account.  However, he was concerned that no viability study had been done to ensure the affordable housing delivery and also that the allotments would be administered by the applicant and would be dispensed with if there was no need for them.


Councillor Bowes noted that the Officers said that the Parish Council were fully supportive of the application but they had also said that the Settlement Boundary should be retained.

The Ward Representative explained that the Parish Council were mindful of the need for housing and appreciated that the site was in a sustainable area.


Councillor Smith asked if the ‘further justification’ required for sites outside the Settlement Boundary was provided by the offer of the allotments and if so he was concerned that they might be done away with.


The Principal Planning Officer explained that the allotments were an added benefit but had not been relied upon to justify the acceptability of the proposal.  That had been provided by meeting the three sustainability tests.


Councillor Smith was very concerned about the big increase in population that the proposal would cause.  He asked if a reduction in density would result in a reduction in the number of dwellings.  It was pointed out that the number of dwellings had already been reduced and might need to be reduced further.  If the application was considered acceptable a note could be added that density might need to be reviewed.


Councillor Smith asked if there was any chance of losing the play area  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.


Applications determined by the Executive Director of Place (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Place.


Members are requested to raise any questions at least two working days before the meeting to allow information to be provided to the Committee.





Appeal Decisions (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Members are requested to raise any questions at least two working days before the meeting to allow information to be provided to the Committee.






Applications Determined by Norfolk County Council (Agenda Item 13) pdf icon PDF 25 KB





Exclusion of Press & Public (Agenda Item 14)

To consider passing the following resolution:


“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Act”.





RESOLVED that under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.



Enforcement Update (Agenda Item 15)

To receive a report from the Enforcement Manager.


Additional documents:


All Members had received direct representation on this item.


The new Obligations Officer, Neil Langley introduced himself to Members.  The background to the Enforcement case was explained for the benefit of new Members.  There was a complex planning history which had culminated in an Enforcement Notice requiring the removal of a building.  That requirement had not been met and the report outlined four options open to Members:


1.     Prosecution

2.     Injunction

3.     Direct Action

4.     Discretionary Extension of Compliance Period


Councillor Borrett (Ward Representative) said that he had received more correspondence about this site than on any other issue during his five years as a Councillor.  He gave further details of the history, including the effect on a Scheduled Ancient Monument within the site.  He asked Members to support any of the options except option 4.


Councillor Bambridge (Ward Representative) had only been involved in the issue since the Ward Boundary changes in May.  He had received some e-mails in support of the applicant which he had forwarded to the Council.


The Principal Planning Officer gave further details of the site history which included various planning applications and appeals.  Discussions were on-going between the applicant and officers regarding future proposals. 


Councillor C Carter spoke as the Portfolio Holder with responsibility for Planning.  He found Enforcement very frustrating as it was such a long, drawn out process.


The Solicitor to the committee advised Members about the effects of the enforcement options which had been set out in the report. The solicitor reminded Members that they should take a proportionate response to the breach of planning control and he advised Members to exercise caution before approving the recommended option of direct action as, in the circumstances of this case, there was a reputational risk for the Council in addition to potential significant costs involved.  Councillor Claussen indicated that he agreed with the legal advice which had been given.




1)     The update in respect of the continuing breach of planning control be noted;

2)     Authority be granted to the Director of Place for the implementation and execution of direct action under Section 178 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) to comply with an Enforcement Notice; and

3)     Authority be granted to recover all costs reasonably incurred in the taking of direct action.