Agenda and minutes

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No. Item



To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2008.


The minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2008 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.




To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Mr. R.P. Childerhouse, Mr. K. Martin and Mrs. A. Steward.



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 personal or prejudicial interest.


The following declarations were made in regard to Agenda Item 7:


  • Mr. J.D. Rogers – Personal interest a Member of the Norfolk County Council’s Minerals and Waste Committee and as Ward Member for Carbrooke.
  • Mr. I.A.C. Monson – Personal interest as a Member of Norfolk County Council of Wards/Parishes within the County Council Division in Breckland area
  • Mr. M. Kiddle-Morris – Personal interest relating to applications affecting two parishes within his Ward.



Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting

To note the names of any non-members wishing to address the meeting.


  • Councillor C. Bowes
  • Mr. M. Kiddle-Morris
  • Mr. B. Rose



Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (Agenda item 6)

Report of the Strategic Director (Business Transformation).


The Senior Planning Policy Officer gave a presentation and explained that the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) was an essential piece of the evidence base for the Local Development Framework (LDF) required by national guidance as set out in Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing.


The purpose of the assessment was to identify sites with potential for housing, assess that potential and predict when those sites were likely to be developed. Consultation was undertaken on a draft methodology for the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment in August 2007, the results of which indicated the need to make revisions to the method. The key element of the revisions was the establishment of a project steering group comprising Council officers and development industry stakeholders whose expertise could help to ensure that the conclusions reached were credible and could be relied upon. The expedient production of the assessment was essential if existing milestones for the submission of the Core Strategy and Development Control Policies DPD were to be met and that the soundness of the document was not put at risk.


The assessment would aim to identify as many sites with housing potential in and around as many settlements as possible in Breckland.  As a minimum, it should identify specific sites for at least the first 10 years of a plan from the anticipated date of adoption and ideally long than the whole 15 year plan period.


In answer to various questions, the following points were noted:


  • The assessment would look at overall housing figures and would not be specific to affordable housing or by location.  While exception sites would be screened these were considered unlikely to form strategic sites in the Core Strategy but would be borne out as the process moved forward to identify sites as part of the site specifics work.

  • The Project Steering Group would include representatives from local developers, major and local planning consultants, regional housing providers and surveyors.  While membership of the Steering Group was on a voluntary, unpaid basis, it was acknowledged that there would be concerns about conflicts of interest.  However, given the need to work and consult with stakeholders, it would be very difficult to find representatives from the relevant fields without any interests.  The role of this Panel would therefore be important to ensure concerns were managed through the public scrutiny process.

  • The assessment would look at issues of scale of sites and their sources, for example brownfield or garden sites, and what, if any, exception or other criteria should be applied to them.

  • Density multipliers under PPS3 offered more flexibility to look at lower densities of development on sites.  In this regard, using existing density multipliers, densities were close to or slightly below the figures from actual planning applications, so that assessments appeared to be well related in terms of actual planning applications.  Densities could also be reduced by other factors, such as site constraints.  The Steering Group would be considering this issue and reporting its views to the Panel for further  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Consultation on Norfolk Minerals and Waste LDF (Agenda Item 7)

Report of the Strategic Director (Business Transformation).


Appendices C and D to this report are marked to follow.


The Planning Policy Assistant presented the report and gave details of the current consultation on the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Development Framework being undertaken by Norfolk County Council.


It was explained that the County Council was currently consulting on drafts of its Core Strategy and Development Control Development Plan Document and its Minerals and Waste Site Allocations document.  As the Local Planning Authority, Breckland Council was a statutory consultee in the formation of the Minerals and Waste Development Framework.  It was also important that Breckland was aware of the County’s plans for minerals and waste development and how this affected the strategy, policies and sites in the Breckland Local Development Framework.  The report summarised the content of both documents and provided officers’ recommendation of Breckland’s response to the consultation.  The consultation documents together comprised around 500 pages and were not reproduced with the report.  However, a series of appendices were attached to the report outlining proposed policies which could affect Breckland and proposed sites for minerals and waste development in and around Breckland.  All the consultation documents and supporting evidence could be viewed on-line at


Members’ views were requested and, subject to any amendments, it was proposed that the comments and recommendations listed in Appendices B, C and D of the report should form Breckland Council’s response to the consultation.


During the ensuing discussion, the following points and responses to questions were made:


(a)       General


  • The District Council was a statutory consultee as well as being a statutory planning authority in its own right.  When the County Council considered the District Council’s recommendations, it would have to justify its proposals on sound planning reasons and therefore the District Council’s views should carry weight.

  • The County Council’s Plan period ran parallel to that of Breckland’s.  Although planning applications for development could come forward before some waste sites, it was thought that the County Council would want to try to achieve parallel working with Districts.  Hence there was a recommendation under the site specifics that the proposals should not stifle development in Breckland.

  • A member queried the fact that there was no mention of nuclear waste and it was explained that this was something that did not fall within the scope of this strategy but was a national issue.

  • The consultation documents included all potential sites and no sieving of sites had been made by the County Council at this stage to take account of protected sites, for example those sites in the Thetford area which were sited within a European protected area.  The officers’ recommendations ensured such sites were highlighted by raising strong objections.  It was likely other environmental agencies as statutory consultees would also raise similar objections.

(b)       Appendix B: Evaluation of Policies contained in the Norfolk Minerals and Waste Core Strategy and Development Control Development Plan Document Preferred Options


  • Preferred Option CS4 – The intention of the recommendation was that it should not inhibit housing growth in Breckland.

  • Preferred Approach 8.1.1 and Preferred Option DC2 – The recommendation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Update on A47/A1067 Link Road (Agenda Item 8)

Report of the Strategic Director (Business Transformation).


The Principal Planning Policy Officer presented the report giving an update on the latest position regarding the proposed link road from the A47 to the A1067 in the north-east area of Breckland. 


Five potential routes had been consulted on by Norfolk County Council in late summer 2007.  Breckland had objected to two of the proposed routes.


The results of the County Council’s consultations were considered by the Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet on 28th January 2008 and the County Council was now working on a scheme based on route options 1, 2 and 3, which were the options favoured by Breckland.


It was noted that the cost of providing a route was in the region of £6.7m and a phased approach was to be adopted.  Phase 1 would involve the route from the Wood Lane junction to the airfield site, with design costs drawn from the existing budget.


However, there was no budget set aside for the scheme and it would have to compete with other schemes for funding and the scheme did not form part of the proposed Northern Distributor Route.


The position was noted.



Work Programme (Agenda Item 9)

A copy of the current work programme for the Panel is attached.  Members are invited to consider any additional items or topics for inclusion on the future work programme.



It was noted that the item regarding the review of the Street Naming and Numbering policy provisionally scheduled for the next meeting on 1st April was unlikely to be ready in time for that meeting, as consultations were still being undertaken.  In the circumstances, the Panel agreed that, if necessary, the meeting should be cancelled.


So far as the meeting scheduled for May was concerned, the following items were noted for the agenda for that meeting:


  • LDF Core Strategy – Consultation Responses
  • Thetford Area Action Plan Timetable
  • LDF Site Specifics – Process
  • Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment – Update



Next Meeting

To note the arrangements for the next meeting on Tuesday, 1st April 2008 at 10.00am in the Anglia Room, Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham.


         RESOLVED that the meeting scheduled for 1st April 2008 be cancelled in the event that the report on Street Naming and Numbering is not ready in time.