Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Updated Glossary of Terms & Abbreviations (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 67 KB

For Information Only.






Minutes (Agenda Item 2) pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2016.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2016 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.




Apologies & Substitutes (Agenda Item 3)

To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies had been received from Councillor Robinson.


Councillor Newton left the meeting at 1pm for medical reasons and Councillor Hollis took over as his Substitute from that time.




Declaration of Interest and of Representations Received (Agenda Item 4)

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.


Agenda Item 7:  Urgent Item (Watton) - Councillor Bowes abstained from voting on this item as her family owned land adjacent to the site.


Agenda Item 9:

Schedule Item 1 (Dereham) - All Members had received direct representation.

Schedule Item 2 (Old Buckenham) – Councillor Joel spoke as Ward Representative in support of the application and did not take any part in the discussion or voting.




Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 5)


The Chairman introduced the presenting officers and also Scott Stockdale an Economics student who was present to observe the meeting.


He noted that it was Councillor Chapman-Allen’s last meeting and thanked her for her work on the Committee.  He also informed Members that it was Gary Hancox’s last meeting.




Requests to Defer Applications included in this Agenda (Agenda Item 6)

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.






Urgent Business (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 706 KB

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.


WATTON: Land west of Saham Road:  Residential development of 73 dwellings:  Applicant: Hopkins Homes:  Reference: 3PL/2015/0219/F


The Chairman had agreed to take this urgent item of business.  The report had been published on the Supplement to the Agenda. 


The Principal Planning Officer explained the reason for urgency. The application was subject to an Appeal which would be determined by the Planning Inspectorate at a Hearing on 6 April 2016.  The Council was required to submit a Statement of Case by 11 February. 


In preparing the Statement of Case it had become apparent that the amenity ground for refusal was not defendable and would potentially place the Council at risk of the award of costs.  It was therefore proposed that that ground for refusal be withdrawn. The Appeal would be defended on the other reasons for refusal.


Councillor Bowes declared that as her family owned the adjacent land to the site she would abstain from voting.


Councillor Claussen encouraged members of the public to attend the Hearing.


RESOLVED that the Council formally withdraws its amenity ground for refusal.




Local Plan Update (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To receive an update. 


The Planning Policy Manager updated Members on current issues.

The consultation on the Local Plan would close on 22 February.  To date 150 representations had been received and more were expected before the consultation closed.  A number of well-attended public events had been held.  Two further events would take place on Tuesday 9 February at Queens Hall, Watton and Thursday 11 February at Necton Village Hall (both from 2pm – 7pm).


The Evidence Base studies were all progressing as set out in the report. 


Councillor Clarke asked when the briefing by the Lead Local Flood Authority would be received by the Committee.  It had been scheduled to follow the January Committee but due to the length of that meeting it had been postponed and would be re-arranged for March or April.


Councillor Claussen referred to the proposal in the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) that New Homes Bonus (NHB) would not be paid to Council’s for housing granted on appeal.  The Council relied on NHB money and he felt that the planning process should work for the benefit of local people.  The proposal was out to consultation at the moment and he asked the Chairman to write, on behalf of the Committee, to object in the strongest possible terms.


The Chairman agreed to construct a response with the Leader of the Council.




Deferred Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 52 KB

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


Additional documents:


NARBOROUGH: Chalk Lane: Reserved matters application for the erection of 55 dwellings & full application for the erection of 18 dwellings: Applicant: Persimmon Homes East Midlands: References: 3PL/2015/0926/D and 3PL/2015/0928/F pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Report of the Executive Director Place.


Additional documents:


These two applications had been deferred by the Committee because of the following concerns: overlooking to the northern boundary; design of the dwellings; the location of affordable units; and the integration of open space. 


Members were given a brief recap of the applications and shown comparison layout plans and house designs.


The Applicants had not been able to integrate the open space, due to an easement around the pumping station.  Various options had been considered and one dwelling had been moved closer to provide natural surveillance to the area. 


Amendments to address the impact on amenity provided five single storey dwellings on the northern boundary (three more than previously).  The separation distances were considered acceptable and the landscape buffer would be increased.


Four of the affordable units had been relocated and they were now spread between three cul-de-sacs.


House types had been amended and enhanced.  Officers considered that the concerns had been sufficiently addressed.


Further representations had been received and were shown to Members, together with the response sent by Officers.


Mr Bucknell (Objector representing residents of 1-19 Westfields) was disappointed that the outcomes of a number of public consultations by the Applicant had been ignored.  Residents had requested that all adjacent dwellings should be single storey.  The land had originally been purchased for 55 dwellings and now 73 dwellings were proposed.  He was particularly concerned about Plot 66 which was only 2.5m from the boundary with Westfields.


Ms Dew (for Applicant) had worked with Officers to overcome Members’ concerns.  The elevational treatment for 78% of the houses had been enhanced.  Three dwellings had been changed to single storey and separation distances had been increased and the affordable housing units had been redistributed to provide physical separation.  The scheme was a high quality, sustainable development.


Councillor Wilkinson (Ward Representative) said that residents only objected to the northern boundary treatment.  Despite dialogue with the Applicants there was still one two-storey dwelling (Plot 62) which was a blot on the landscape and would cause overlooking.  The Parish Council was also concerned that street lighting should be provided at the developer’s expense.


Members asked if there was any possibility that Plot 62 could be single storey.  However, they were advised that there would be no grounds for refusal as the separation distances were adequate.  Officers would ensure that the landscaping proposals provided an immediate screen.


RESOLVED that both applications be deferred and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject to the conditions in the original reports, on completion of the section 106 agreements.


The Chairman stated for the record that the Committee was not happy that Persimmon had not listened to the residents’ comments in their consultation.



SHIPDHAM: Parklands Avenue: 24 dwellings and associated open space, parking and access road: Applicant: MDPC Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2015/0562/F


This application had been approved at Committee in December 2015 in accordance with the report, subject to the S106 Agreement.  It had been made clear at that meeting that two existing bridleways would have to be diverted to accommodate the development.


Members were requested to confirm that they were satisfied that the diversion was necessary to enable to development to proceed.




(1)   the diversion of the bridleways was necessary to enable the development to proceed; and

(2)   authority be given to progress the diversion of the bridleways under section 257 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.



Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Trustees of the GR Scott Will


58 - 71


Mr B Barnard

Old Buckenham

72 - 81


Abel Homes Ltd


82 -92


George Tufts & Son (Watton) Ltd


93 - 102


R S Baker & Sons Ltd


103 - 108


S & A Jones Developments Ltd


109 - 115


Kate & Nigel Bunton


116 - 122


Mr David Yaxley

Holme Hale

123 - 126


Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)       Item 1: DEREHAM: Land to the rear of 35-61 Westfield Road: Residential development of up to 100 dwellings including access: Applicant: Trustees of the GR Scott Will Trust: Reference: 3PL/2015/0846/O


All Members had received direct representation.


          This was a locally contentious application due to concerns about the loss of employment land and traffic impact.  Since agenda publication Councillor Millbank, Ward Representative, had written raising both of those concerns and the Dereham Business Forum had made representation about the loss of employment land.


It was clarified that the comments in the report under Asset Management (page 64) were the combined comments of the Asset and Economic Development teams.


One further update was that following receipt of the District Valuer’s report the affordable housing contribution had been increased from 30% to 40%.


The site was suitable for residential development being well related to local services.  It would make a significant contribution to the supply of housing, including affordable housing, and would also provide public open space and financial contributions to local infrastructure including the local Doctor’s surgery (to extend the existing premises).  However, the proposal would cause the loss of designated employment land, contrary to Policies.


It was noted that the site had been allocated as employment land for 25 years with little interest being shown although the Town Council had suggested that that was due to a lack of marketing.


With regard to traffic concerns, Westfield Road was a two-way residential road subject to periods of heavy use and parking pressure, particularly at school times.  There were already problems turning right at the junctions from that road.  The transport assessment was that the scheme would lead to a 1-2% increase in traffic at peak times which would not make a significant difference.  A traffic management scheme, including a 20mph limit would be conditioned.  The detailed comments from Dereham Town Council had been referred directly to NCC and they maintained no objection.


Mr Needham (Clerk to Dereham Town Council) noted that the Council’s Planning Policy and Economic Development Teams both supported retention of the employment land.  There was insufficient evidence of a lack of demand and the land should be actively marketed for a reasonable time before housing development was approved.


Mr Robinson (for Applicant) said the site was in the Settlement Boundary and people would be able to walk or cycle to facilities making it a sustainable development.  Dereham did need employment land but in the right place and this site was not viable as the cost of development for offices, etc, was too high.  It had no services and was close to housing.  The traffic congestion on Westfield Road was around school times which were different to peak commuter times.  Children would walk or cycle to school or use the bus.  The developer would fund the 20mph zone.


Ms Harrison (Objector) supported the Town Council’s views.  The roads were severely congested and there were long delays at the junctions and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


Applications determined by the Executive Director of Place (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 100 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.






Exclusion of Press and Public (Agenda Item 12)

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)(4) 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 it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Act.




Enforcement Update (Agenda Item 13)

Verbal Update by Enforcement Manager.


The Enforcement Manager gave Members a verbal update.  He was pleased to announce that Ian Williamson had been appointed as a new Enforcement Officer and had started work.


The statistics for 2015 had been reviewed and compared to 2014.  There had been 435 new cases in 2014 and 340 in 2015.  That reduction was mainly down to the new electronic recording methods and robust screening.  In 2014 there had been 436 cases closed and in 2015 346 cases had been closed.


In the last year 96% of cases had been resolved without formal action and in 100% of cases investigations had commenced within ten working days.  Those figures were particularly good considering that the team had been low on staff and the Enforcement Manager himself had been off sick for some weeks with a broken ankle.


The team had the target of resolving 90% of cases within 12 months.  Currently they were achieving 99% and of the 346 cases closed, 52 had resulted in retrospective planning applications bring in fees of over £16,000.


A complaint to the Ombudsman had been dismissed. Four formal cases were currently under appeal. 


S106 Agreements were 100% up-to-date and all input to the new Ocella system.  Reports could now be run for all applications with legal agreements and information on how much money had been collected and how much had been spent was available.  Work was on-going to build in restrictive elements to legal agreements to enable reminder letters to be generated annually to remind people of those restrictions.  All Unilateral Undertakings would also be added to the database.


Questions on individual cases would be discussed individually outside the meeting.


The Chairman thanked the Enforcement Manager for his update.