Venue: Norfolk Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham
Contact: Committee Services 01362 656870
Apologies and Substitutes
To receive apologies for absence and to note substitute Members in attendance.
Apologies were received from Mr Chapman-Allen, Mr Goreham and Mr Balaam. No substitutes were present.
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.
Declaration of Interest
Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests that 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 a person or prejudicial interest.
Mr Kybird declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 5, Policy TH6 on page 44, as it referred to buildings regularly worked on by his business.
Mr Cowen declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 5 as an architect in practice in the District.
Non-Members wishing to address the Meeting
To note the names of any non-members or public speakers wishing to address the meeting.
Mr Claussen and Mr Kiddle-Morris were in attendance.
Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.
The Principal Planning Policy Officer introduced Natalie Beal, Planning Policy Officer (Growth Point). Together they gave Members a presentation showing the evolution of the Thetford Area Action Plan (TAAP) and focussed on the key opportunities and issues for Thetford.
It was reaffirmed that the TAAP was a Breckland Council document which would leave a good legacy over the next 15-20 years.
The timeline of the document could be traced back to 2007 when studies were commissioned to identify the infrastructure needs. In 2008 the Issues and Options document was published and following the analysis of comments received, the Preferred Options document had been published for public consultation in 2009.
The responses received to the Preferred Options consultation were combined with further detailed evidence base to produce the Draft Final TAAP. The document had then been released, in bite-size pieces, to officers and stakeholders over the summer.
Turning to the Preferred Options map, it was pointed out that the majority of growth was proposed to the north of Thetford. The main change was the removal of the previously proposed Country Park. This change had been made due to the Stone Curlew issues and because of the town’s proximity to Thetford Forest. Work could focus on improving access to those.
There had been considerable consultation already and there was also an enhanced understanding of what was technically deliverable. The Plan was still at the Preferred Options stage and another document would be produced for further public consultation before submission to an independent inspector.
The Geographic Information System (GIS) had been used to map layers of constraints to inform the proposals. These constraints included such things as landscape features, environmentally sensitive areas, stone curlews, etc. Due to these constraints, large areas were not available for development.
The main area for development was about 200 hectares (ha) in size of which about 120 to 135ha would be available for the residential development of 5,000 new homes. This would lead to an average density of 37.5 dwellings per hectare. Originally 6,000 dwellings had been proposed but this would have led to much denser development of 60 dwellings per hectare, which had been considered inappropriate.
The overarching vision of the document was to guide growth and regeneration of areas such as the railway station, town centre and existing residential areas.
The Government’s support for the dualling of the A11 put Thetford in a strong position as a sustainable location with good economic prospects. One key issue was the Transport Study by Norfolk County Council. Details were due out later in the week.
From the evidence gathered it was clear that there was currently a significant reliance on the private car and for the plans to work there would need to be a modal shift. Ways to achieve that shift would include improving internal and external bus services and the promotion of walking and cycling. A cycling network of ‘loops’ was included within the document.
The five existing junctions on the A11 around Thetford would ... view the full minutes text for item 119.