Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services 

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2007.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2007 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman subject to it being noted that Councillor Duffield had spoken on Schedule item 11 on behalf of the Parish Council and not as the Ward Representative.


Following a query by a Member at the recent full Council meeting, the Solicitor informed the Committee that the Watton application that had been part of the Schedule of Applications had not been included in the Development Control Committee Minutes as it had been approved as per the Officers recommendation.



Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.


An apology for absence was received by Mrs D Irving.



Declaration of Interest (Agenda item 3)

Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests they may have in any of the following items on the agenda.  The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is personal or prejudicial.


Members and Officers were asked to declare any interests as appropriate at the time the applications were made.


Mrs C Bowes declared a personal interest in Agenda item 9 (Shipdham) as she was a friend of one of the directors.


Mrs A Steward declared a personal and prejudicial interest in item 11 of the Schedule of Applications (Hilborough) and left the room whilst this item was being discussed.


Mrs C Bowes declared a personal interest in item 6 of the Schedule of Applications (Dereham) for the reason that she was an employee of Norfolk County Council’s Cultural Services.


Mr A Byrne declared a personal interest in item 6 of the Schedule of Applications (Dereham) in his capacity as a County Councillor.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4)


The Chairman advised the meeting of the procedures for public speaking.



Requests to defer applications included in this Agenda (Agenda item 5)


The Development Services Manager announced that item 3 of the Schedule of Applications (Attleborough) had been deferred and would come forward to the next meeting.


Item 9 of the Schedule of Applications was deferred at the request of a Ward Member to enable a further representation to be submitted from Quidenham Parish Council.



Local Development Framework (Standard item) (Agenda item 7)

To receive an update.


The Environmental Planning Manager provided Members with an update on the Local Development Framework. 


The Committee was informed that the Policy Development and Review Panel 1 meeting being held on 8th November 2007 would be looking at issues concerning the Core Strategy document and the Development Control Policies.  Due to the size and complexity of the documents, the meeting was expected to last all day following which both reports would be presented to the Cabinet Members on the 20th November with the comments of the Panel meeting for consideration.  Members of the Development Control Committee were invited to attend.


The Committee was informed of a number of evening meetings that Ward Members might wish to attend:


  • Mattishall Parish Council – 5 November 2007
  • Shipdham Parish Council – 12 November 2007
  • Thompson Parish Council – 15 November 2007.


Further to the above, Members were also invited to attend the Breckland Council Town/Parish Open evening being held on 3rd December at the Assembly Rooms in Swaffham and the Business Rate Payers meeting on the 10th December at Elizabeth House.  The Environmental Planning Team would be in attendance to discuss any LDF issues that the public might have.



Deferred Applications (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 10 KB

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


It was noted that application reference no. 3PL/2007/1319/F – Castle Meadow, Thetford had been withdrawn.



East Tuddenham: Change of Use and Conversion of Redundant Agricultural Buildings to Provide Two Units of Accommodation for Holiday Letting: Reference 3PL/2006/0812/F (Agenda item 8a) pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


The Principal Planning Officer presented the report that had previously been deferred from the Development Control Committee meeting held on 15 October 2007 (Minute Nos. 162/07 and 164/07 refers).


Members were informed that planning permission had been granted for the change of use of redundant agricultural buildings to holiday accommodation on 7th December 2006.  The Committee had approved the application subject to conditions which required, inter alia, the provision of three passing bays.


Since that time the applicant had been working with the Highway Authority to fulfil the requirement and the location of two passing bays had been agreed.  However, the third bay could not be provided due to the landowners of these identified sites declining to allow the work to take place. 


Four letters of representation had been received; one in support of two passing bays and another letter objecting to all.  The remaining two letters, one being from the Parish Council, were both in favour of three passing bays.


Mr Claussen, the Ward Representative, was in attendance for this item.


He informed the Committee that Mr Bell, the applicant, had been the instigator behind the offer of installing three passing bays which residents, at that particular time, and the Parish Council had been in favour of.  However, since then objections had been received from local residents, not only towards the installation of the passing bays but also towards any form of business being carried out in Rotten Row.  Mr Claussen advised that residents had now requested that the rudimentary/unofficial passing places should remain.  As far as the Parish Council was concerned, Members were informed that it was still in favour of the installation of three passing bays.


The Committee felt that a compromise had been reached, and it was


RESOLVED that the provision of two passing bays instead of three as stated in the condition be accepted.



Shipdham: Land off Church Close:Residential Development for Abel Homes Ltd: Reference 3PL/2007/1234/F pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) presented the report which concerned a planning application for 43 dwellings on land off Church Close in the village of Shipdham.  Subject to the resolution of outstanding issues relating to trees, ecology, drainage and access, it had been recommended that the application be approved.


The greenfield site comprised of an irregularly shaped parcel of undeveloped land which extended to approximately 2.2 hectares and was within the Settlement Boundary and within the Shipdham Conservation area. 


Policy HOU.4 only permitted small scale developments in villages such as Shipdham; however, as this policy dated back to 1999, it was considered that greater weight should be given to more recent national policy, as set in PPS3, with its emphasis on the need to accommodate new housing in appropriate locations within existing settlements.  It was also relevant to note, that Shipdham had, during the course of the preparation of the Local Development Framework (LDF), been identified as a potential local service centre and therefore as being suitable for further development.


It was considered that much thought had gone into the layout of the proposed development and had overcome any potential problems of overlooking.  Further to this, the designs of the houses proposed would fit in with the surroundings. 


Saved Local Plan Policy REC.2 required housing developments of this sort to include public open space to meet the recreational needs of future residents.  However, the applicant had offered a commuted sum of £50,000 to develop the existing nearby playing field.  The Parish Council, whilst maintaining its objections to the whole scheme, had expressed that this commuted sum would be welcomed to improve existing facilities.


A number of concerns had been raised with regard to flooding on the site; admittedly, part of the site was quite soggy; however, the Environment Agency was now satisfied and had withdrawn its objections as a full Flood Risk Assessment had since been submitted by the applicant in support of the application. 


The proposed development had given rise to considerable local concern about highway safety.  Objections had been raised by the Parish Council, and local residents, although the Highway Authority was content with the application.  Mill Road was not considered to be suitable to cater for any significant increase in traffic; therefore, vehicular access to the development had been proposed off Church Close/High Street (A1075), with access to Mill Road being limited to a footway/cycleway link.  The new access road onto the A1075 had been designed to the Highway Authority’s requirements.  Whilst visibility towards the Church Close bend was limited, the achievable splay was considered to be adequate by the County Council given the speed of the traffic.  The development would provide a useful pedestrian link between the High Street and Mill Road, avoiding Church Close where there were no footways, but this benefit had been, to some extent compromised by the difficulties associated with crossing the A1075, particularly for parents and children looking for a safe route to the local school.  Some form of traffic  ...  view the full minutes text for item 178.


THETFORD: ABBEY FARM BARNS, MONKSGATE: RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT for H G Developments: References 3PL/2007/1054/F and 3PL/2007/1055/LB pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) presented the report which concerned proposals for a development of 26 dwellings at Abbey Farm Barns in Thetford.  It was recommended that planning permission be granted.


The site included a range of former farm buildings, which enclosed a central courtyard.  Two of the buildings were Grade 1 listed buildings and part of the site was a Scheduled Ancient Monument.  The site was currently unused, and was last used as a depot owned by Breckland Council.


A Committee site visit had taken place on 3rd October 2007.


The development would consist of 15 new-build dwellings with a further 11 units created by converting existing buildings.  The land around the buildings would be laid out for parking and landscaped amenity areas.  Vehicular access to the development was proposed via two existing entrances off Monksgate.


The site in more detail was shown and the buildings to be retained had been shaded for ease of identification.


Most crucially, the conversion of the listed buildings had resulted in quite lengthy discussions between English Heritage and the Council’s Historic Buildings Officer.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) felt that the architects involved should be praised for their sensitive approach towards the existing cottages and the new build.  The windows and doors of the cottages would be replaced with like for like or repaired to a very high standard.  The gardens would not be sub-divided and would be left as open lawned areas.


The Committee was made aware that the Council had received a great deal of representations from local residents.  Letters of objection had been received raising concerns about the effect of the development on the historic interest of the site, increased traffic, the scale of the development, loss of amenity and drainage problems.  At the time of writing the report, in excess of 60 letters had been received.


In response to these concerns, the Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) advised that the Highway Authority had raised no objections to the proposal as it was felt that the surrounding network was adequate; therefore, it would be very difficult to substantiate any objections on highway grounds.


Particular attention had been paid to alleviate any possible overlooking problems.  Where existing buildings were located hard up against the western side boundary, no window openings were proposed in the elevations facing adjacent dwellings.


In terms of drainage, Anglian Water had confirmed that there was capacity in existing sewers to deal with additional flows from the development proposed.


Members were informed that the scale of the proposed development was such that an element of affordable housing and financial contributions towards local services/facilities would normally be required under current policy.  However, the applicant had indicated that a requirement of this sort would threaten the financial viability of the project.  It had been suggested that development costs would be high because of existing buildings, the extent of the conservation work required and the standard of design/materials required.  The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) advised that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 179.


Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda item 11) pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


H G Developments




H G Developments




Bennett PLC


26 - 28


Abel Homes Ltd




Weatherill Brothers Ltd


31 - 33


Norfolk County Council


34 - 36


Bethel Investments Ltd


37 - 41


Mr C Mannion


42 - 44


Diacra Industries Ltd


45 - 46


Mr and Mrs C Smith


47 - 51


Mr and Mrs S Silvester


52 - 54


Mr M Smith


55 - 56



a)      Item 1: 3PL/2007/1054/F: Thetford: Abbey Barns, Monksgate: Change of use from highway depot to residential use creating 26 units, with external works for H G Developments


This item was considered in conjunction with Agenda item 10 – see Minute no. 178/07 above.


b)      Item 2: 3PL/2007/1055/LB: Thetford: Abbey Barns, Monksgate: Conversion of listed buildings on former highways depot to five no. residential units (alteration only) for H G Developments


This item was considered in conjunction with Agenda item 10 – see Minute no. 178/07 above.


c)      Item 3: 3PL/2007/1095/F: Attleborough: Heisker, West Carr Road: Residential development of nine dwellings including demolition of existing dwelling and garage for Bennett Plc


This item had been deferred (see Minute no. 175/07 above).


d)      Item 4: 3PL/2007/1234/F: Shipdham: Land off Church Close: Residential development, erection of 42 dwellings, garages, access road and ancillary works for Abel Homes Ltd


This item was considered in conjunction with Agenda item 10 (see Minute no. 178/07 above).


e)      Item 6: 3PL/2007/1354/F: Dereham: former Dereham Library, Church Street: Demolition of former library and erection of ten dwellings for Norfolk County Council


Refused, contrary to the recommendation, on design grounds.  Members were of the opinion that the building fronting onto Church Street should reflect the adjacent Georgian buildings and its urban setting.


Note: Mrs C Bowes declared a personal interest in this item as she was an employee of Norfolk County Council’s Cultural Services.  Mr A Byrne declared a personal interest in this item in his capacity as a Norfolk County Councillor.


f)       Item 8: 3PL/2007/1417/F: Attleborough: Bunns Bank Industrial Estate: Erection of two blocks of industrial units (revisions to planning permission ref. no. 3PL/2007/0687/F) for Mr C Mannion


Approved, as recommended, subject to the commuted sum for a pedestrian/cycle link not being paid to Norfolk County Council.


g)      Item 9: 3PL/2007/1419/F: Snetterton: Snetterton Circuit: Construction of a spectator viewing area (part retrospective) for Diacra Industries Ltd


Deferred, contrary to the recommendation (see Minute No. 175/07 above).


h)      Item 10: 3PL/2007/1482/F: Yaxham: Land adjacent to Down Ampney, Well Hill: Proposed dwelling and garage for Mr & Mrs C Smith


         Refused, contrary to the recommendation.  Members felt that a further dwelling in this area would constitute overdevelopment and would set a precedent.


i)       Item 11: 3PL/2007/1490/F: Hilborough: 33 Westgate Street: Convert existing triple garage and extend to provide kitchen, hall and bedroom for Mr & Mrs S Silvester


         Refused, contrary to the recommendation, on the grounds that the application failed to enhance the form and character of the area.  Members also felt that the access was unsuitable and that the development would create parking problems for the residents of Westgate Street.


         Note: Mrs A Steward declared a personal and prejudicial interest on this matter and left the room whilst this item was being discussed.


j)       Item 12: 3PL/2007/1517/O: Swaffham: Land adjacent to 1 Low Road: One dwelling and garage for Mr M Smith


Deferred, however, the Development Services Manager be authorised to grant outline planning  ...  view the full minutes text for item 180.


Enforcement Items (For Information) (Agenda item 12) pdf icon PDF 26 KB


This item was noted.



Applications determined by the Development Services Manager (For Information) (Agenda item 13) pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This item was noted.



Appeals Decisions (for information) (Agenda item 14)

APP/F2605/A/07/2045802: Garvestone: The Orchard, Cherry Tree Farm, Town Lane: Appeal against a refusal to grant outline planning permission for Mr & Mrs Armiger: (Application Reference 3Pl/2007/0172/O)

Decision: Dismissed



This item was noted.



Current Policy Framework for Affordable Housing (additional item)


Darryl Smith, the Principal Housing Officer, had been invited to the meeting to discuss matters relating to developers financial contributions and how they were calculated.


The Council had to work within the Affordable Housing Policy PPS3, the relevant Housing Needs Survey and the Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

It was the Council’s duty to use its various powers to aid other agencies, particularly housing associations and developers, to provide new affordable housing in the district.

The assistance the Council could offer fell into 3 main categories:

  • Financial Assistance
  • Mechanisms for the transfer of land/property
  • Use of the planning system to achieve affordable housing contributions

In exceptional circumstances where the developer and the Council were in agreement, a commuted sum could be taken in lieu of on site provision. 


Commuted payments for off-site provision would be calculated according to the most up to date Housing Corporation Total Cost Indicators (TCIs) (or any subsequent guidance) for Breckland.  Commuted sums were calculated and based on providing the equivalent number, tenure and size of dwellings to 30% of on site built unit provision. The cost of land purchase would be included in the calculation of the commuted sum.  Darryl advised that the cost of the build was calculated at £150 per square metre.


Darryl gave an example of how the commuted sum would be calculated.  The end result would be the Council’s starting point for negotiation.


Ultimately, it was considered that the best prerequisite for the Council was an on-site provision as one of the biggest difficulties for off-site provision was the supply of land.


Darryl was happy to answer any questions via email: