Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 7 April 2008.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 April 2008 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Mr M Fanthorpe, Mr F Sharpe, Mr M Spencer and Mrs P A Spencer.



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 at the time the applications were made.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


The Chairman pointed out the fire exits and explained that the venue for the meeting had been changed as the screens and the microphones in the Anglia Room were not working.  She asked everyone to speak up so that they would be heard clearly.


She also reminded Members that three places were available at the Summer School for those who had not previously attended.



Local Development Framework (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 


The Environmental Planning Manager told Members that the deadline for a site to be included for consideration in the LDF was 30 April 2008.  A large number had already been received.


The Consultation Programme had been established with only three Wards yet to submit dates; Templar, Two Rivers and Wissey.


A report on Consultation on the Core Strategy would be presented to the Policy Development and Review Panel 3 at the meeting on 6 May 2008.  This would include Strategic Housing Land Availability and a discussion paper on Settlement Boundaries.


Over the next few weeks visits to Parish Councils and other organisations had been arranged:


6 May     -     Thetford Rotarians & Bradenham Parish Council

8 May     -     Sporle Parish Council

12 May  -     Necton & Saham Toney Parish Councils

14 May  -     North Lopham Parish Council


Following the deadline on 30 April details of Site Specifics would go out to public consultation from June to September.



Section 106 Legal Agreements (Agenda Item 8)

To receive a presentation regarding the current position relating to the Section 106 process and monitoring arrangements.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) gave a PowerPoint presentation to Members.  He explained that changes in the way that legal agreements were dealt with and monitored had been introduced.


Legal agreements have to serve a planning purpose and be directly related to the planning proposal and were not used if a requirement could be conditioned.  They were usually linked to land and stayed with the land when ownership changed.  They were legally binding on the landowner and could be legally enforced through the courts.


Agreements were used in a number of ways, usually for the control of land, for example to provide affordable housing.  They could also be used to require facilities such as open space or financial contributions to local services.  Other more recent uses of S106 Agreements were to ensure sustainable construction, for the management of wildlife areas and for the provision of public art.


Over the last nine months there had been a number of changes to the processing of agreements as follows:


  1. An attempt to speed up the process - as agreements can lead to significant delays affecting performance figures.  This included developing standard templates and producing guidance notes for applicants.
  2. The promotion of more informed discussion to allow people to comment.  There was now a requirement for a Planning Obligation Statement to be submitted with a major application in which developers set out their proposed contributions, making clear to consultees what was being offered.
  3. Proper monitoring and enforcement.  The Planning Obligations Officer would monitor the progress of agreements and ensure that actions were co-ordinated.


Previously agreements were drafted after Committee approval.  Now they were drafted during the consideration process so that when an application was presented to Development Control Committee it would be accompanied by a draft heads of terms for a 106.  Following consideration by the Committee the agreement would be finalised.  However, if it was not possible to do this within the statutory timescale, authority to refuse the application would be sought from the Committee.


Feedback on the new changes had been very positive from consultees and developers. 


Monitoring of agreements was critical to ensure that community benefits were delivered.  There were various ‘trigger points’ and a need to ensure there was no delay between development and benefits being provided as there was a ‘claw-back’ clause for developers if money was not spent within five years.


Following an audit, changes to the Ocella database had been requested to improve its monitoring capacity.  Ocella was a software system used nationally by many Local Authorities and changes had to be agreed by its User Group.  Breckland was taking the lead in the use of Ocella’s S106 monitoring system and our suggested enhancements had been well received by other Councils. 


The monitoring system was up and running and could now record the receipt of contributions and itemise where and when monies were spent.  A system was being developed to enable quarterly reports to be run, by Ward if required, to show what  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.


Deferred Application: HARLING: Keepers Cottage: Retrospective aplpication for new siting of dwelling (new dwelling approved ref no 3PL/2005/1914/F): Application Reference 3PL/2007/0672/F (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 33 KB

To consider the application deferred at the previous meeting for a site visit.


This item concerned a retrospective application for a change in siting of a dwelling at Keepers Cottage, Harling. The application had been considered at the Development Control Committee meeting held on 7 April 2008 where it had been deferred to enable a site visit to be carried out on 25 April 2008.


The Principal Planning Officer introduced the application and explained that the site visit had been arranged to enable Members to assess the implication of the changes made and their impact on the landscape and on the neighbouring dwelling.


The changes involved the re-orientation of the dwelling by approximately 15 degrees from its approved position, changes to dormers and other minor design/materials changes.


From an officer’s point of view the changes were not unduly detrimental to the landscape or the neighbouring property and therefore the application was recommended for approval.


Mr Horn spoke on behalf of relatives living in the neighbouring dwelling.  He explained that his main concern was landscaping and its mitigating effect on possible overlooking/intrusion and the impact of the dwelling on the surrounding landscape.  He wanted to ensure that a scheme was submitted and approved.  If this was done and the mitigation aspect addressed he had no other comments to make.


Dr Kobylecki confirmed that a landscaping scheme had been submitted.  He apologised to the Committee for the difficulties caused by the changes.


A Member was concerned that if this application were approved it would set a precedent that it was acceptable to flout the law.  He suggested that the application should be refused.  Although he did not propose that the house should be moved he thought that it could be refused on the changes to the dormers. 


The Council’s Solicitor pointed out that in regard to retrospective applications there were no grounds for refusal simply because the works had been done without permission.  The Committee had to consider if what had been done was acceptable in planning terms.


The Development Services Manager suggested that an alternative to refusal could be to agree that subject to amendments to the design of the dormers, authority be delegated to him to approve the application with conditions restricting permitted development for walling and the requirement for any landscaping scheme to be carried out in full.


Discussion followed on the changes to the dormers in particular.  Opinion was split - some Members thought they were acceptable as built whilst others found them totally unacceptable. 


A proposal was made to defer the application for further negotiation and it was


RESOLVED that the application be deferred to allow officers to negotiate modifications to the dormers.  If following consultation with the Chairman the changes were acceptable, the Development Services Manager be given authority to approve the application subject to further conditions restricting permitted development rights for walling and landscaping.  If the changes were unacceptable, the application would be brought back to Committee.


A request was made that the Parish Council be consulted on any proposed changes.  It was confirmed that they  ...  view the full minutes text for item 59.



Report of the Development Services Manager.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) explained to Members that these legal agreements had been part of two earlier applications and required certain parts of the site to be reserved for a Local Centre and employment areas.


Following detailed design work since the agreements had been signed a variation was requested to allow for slight changes to the boundaries of these reserved areas.


RESOLVED to approve the variation of the two section 106 agreements as requested.




Report of the Development Services Manager.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) reminded Members that this application had been approved subject to a legal agreement to ensure that the units were only occupied by those needing assisted care.


The current agreement had provisions requiring the occupants to be over 60 and in need of care and for the units to be operated in conjunction with Lincoln House and not sold separately from Lincoln House.


The last two provisions were causing problems.  Currently the occupants had no choice, and had to buy their care from Lincoln House.


Under the proposed variation the tie to Lincoln House would be removed and several enhancements to the qualifying criteria and monitoring arrangements were proposed.  These included a new clause requiring the need for care to be certified by a doctor or medical practitioner and a strengthening of the requirement to keep records of occupants to ensure the units were occupied in an appropriate way.


It was considered that the new agreement would ensure that the units would be used in the way intended by the Committee when they granted approval.


Members discussed the proposed changes and raised concerns about the difficulty in restricting the units to those in need of care.  As the units would be owned by the occupants the question of healthy relatives/dependants inheriting was raised. 


It was pointed out that the clause requiring occupants to be over 60 and in need of care still applied. 


The Solicitor advised Members that it was impossible to cover every eventuality but he considered these were generally good terms.


The Chairman reminded Members that the aim of the Committee in approving the application had been to provide a rural location for older people in need of care.


On the Chairman’s casting vote it was RESOLVED to approve the variation of the section 106 agreement as requested.




Report of the Development Services Manager.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) showed Members a layout plan of this reserved matters application for a Neighbourhood Centre.  He explained that the site occupied an important position at the entrance to the commercial area of the scheme and offered an opportunity to provide visual impact and to add character to the area.


The distinctive, contemporary design and mixture of building materials aimed to draw attention to the Neighbourhood Centre as a focus for the local community.  It would provide a mix of uses with the potential for retail / office / restaurant / take-away and community uses on the ground floor with two floors of residential flats above.


Work had been done to ensure the existing trees were retained and the proposed strategic landscaping included hedging and the inclusion of some semi-mature trees around the building.


In consultation with the police the resident’s parking areas had been enclosed with railings to deter casual access and had enhanced lighting to improve security.


The scheme offered a positive mixture of uses, met the guidelines for local centres and would not affect the vitality of Watton Town Centre.  It was recommended for approval.


Members asked questions about accessibility by pedestrians from other housing areas and for large lorries to the service areas.


Footpath and cycle links were provided and the plan showed space for a large vehicle to deliver to the service areas.


RESOLVED to approve the reserved matters subject to conditions.



Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 13) pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Iceni Developments




A F Machinery Ltd




David Wilson Homes Ltd




HDD RAF Watton Ltd




Anne Bustard




Mr M Lee

North Pickenham



Mr M Lee

North Pickenham




RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)         Item 1: 3PL/2007/1998/F: Watton: Former Doctors Surgery, St Giles Road: 2 and 3 storey apartment building comprising 14 units for Iceni Developments


This full application proposed the demolition of a disused former doctors’ surgery and its replacement with a contemporary apartment building.  Indicative drawings showed the relationship between the proposed building and the existing adjacent terrace of houses.


Officers considered the design of the building acceptable and the use of the site in line with Government guidance.


One objection from a local resident concerning overlooking would be overcome by the use of obscure glazing.


Concerns were raised about the security of the ground floor flats in particular, as French windows opened directly onto communal areas.


Mr Fuller, speaking for the applicants, suggested that the architects could address this problem, possibly with the use of Juliet balconies.


Some Members expressed a strong dislike of the building, particularly the flat roof. 


Mr Fuller explained that the flat roof was designed to reduce the bulk of the building and to keep its scale and massing in line with the adjacent terrace.


Refused, contrary to recommendation, on design grounds.


b)         Item 2: 3PL/2008/0161/F: Wretham: Part of agricultural holding field TL9288 2867, Larkshall: General purpose and potato storage buildings for A F Machinery Ltd


This full application sought permission for two large agricultural buildings adjacent an existing yard full of other such buildings.  This yard was too full to accommodate the new buildings and it was proposed to site these on land adjacent, separated from the existing by a belt of planting.


The two new buildings were needed as currently there was only storage for 25% of the potatoes produced by the applicant.  The general purpose building would be used to store machinery and equipment to address a security problem experienced at the site.  There had already been £20,000 worth of thefts from the site this year.


Approved as recommended.


c)         Item 3: 3PL/2008/0162/D: Carbrooke and Griston: Part of Former Technical Site, RAF Watton: Erection of 113 No dwellings, garages, access road and associated highway works for David Wilson Homes Ltd


This application for approval of reserved matters closely followed the previously approved Design Framework.


The layout proposed a formal more urban character close to the spine road and in contrast a more spacious, generously landscaped broken edge to the development adjacent to the airfield.


Members were shown ‘streetscene’ elevations and a site plan showing the road layout, open spaces and mews courts.


The Highway Authority had raised many concerns and requested more bends in the road.  However that would compromise the layout and other traffic calming methods were preferred.  Highways had also expressed concern that the parking areas provided would not be used, leading to on-street parking.


Following comments from the police the security of the parking courts had been improved with windows overlooking and rear access to dwellings being blocked.  Rear fences had been lowered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Applications determined by the Development Services Manager (Agenda Item 14) pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This item was noted.



Appeal Decisions (Agenda Item 15)

APP/F2605/A/07/2049070:  Ickburgh:  Breckland Duck Free Range Unit, Foulden Road: Appeal against refusal of outline planning permission for Jarc Resourcing plc:  Application Reference: 3PL/2005/1492/O

Decision:  Appeal dismissed.


APP/F2605/A/07/2049073:  Ickburgh:  Foulden Road Farm, Foulden Road:  Appeal against refusal of outline planning permission for Jarc Resourcing plc:  Application Reference: 3PL/2005/1495/O

Decision:  Appeal dismissed.


This item was noted.



Applications determined by Norfolk County Council (Agenda Item 16)

3CM/2008/0003/F:  Swaffham:  Swaffham Infant School, White Cross Road:  Proposed extension and internal alteration to form Children’s Centre together with formation of hard play area for The Director of Children’s Services

Decision:  Conditional Approval.


3CM/2008/0007/F:  Swaffham:  Westfield HFE, Westfield Road:  Replacement new windows, doors and installation of new lift for Director of Adult Services

Decision:  Conditional Approval.


This item was noted.