Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 466 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 30 August 2007.



The minutes of the meeting held on 30 August 2007 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.




To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Mr R. Childerhouse, Mrs P. Quadling and Mrs P. Spencer.



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. Borrett – Prejudicial interest, as has business connections with a company which owns land in North Elmham and has made representations on the Local Development Framework

§               Mr Joel – Personal interest, as a member of Old Buckenham Parish Council

§               Councillor Bowes – Personal interest, as has interests in land in one of villages concerned in the report

§               Mr Rogers – Personal and prejudicial interest, as ward member for Carbrooke and has interest in land within the parish which has been submitted for inclusion



Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting

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


The following members were in attendance:


  • Mr Borrett (agenda item 7)
  • Mrs Steward – Executive Member, Housing & Planning
  • Councillor Bowes (agenda item 7)
  • Mrs Irving (agenda item 7)
  • Mrs Millbank (agenda item 7)
  • Mr Kiddle-Morris (agenda item 7)



Snetterton Utilities Project Phases 1 & 2 (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Report of the Operations Manager (Commercial Services).


The Economic Projects Officer presented the report, which informed members of the background and progress to date of the Snetterton Utilities Project.


The Council had led this project since October 2006.  Snetterton was recognised as a key employment site for the District and the region.  Development of the site was constrained at present by an inadequate utility (gas and electricity) supply which fell far short of that required to realise the full potential of the area.  To release the employment site and achieve optimum commercial development, ensuring quality job opportunities in Breckland, a best value energy solution was needed.


The investigations under Phase 1 of the project identified the risks posed to the economic development of the area if the power constraints were not overcome and looked at the full range of energy supply solutions.


The results concluded that there were two viable energy technology options; an EDF Energy solution or a combined heat and power (CHP) solution. 


Early indications were that a combined heat and power solution was an appropriate and flexible solution to overcoming the power shortage at Snetterton, offering a sustainable, low carbon footprint and was a potentially significantly lower cost option than those recommended by EDF Energy.  The pursuit of solution was subject to match funding from both Norfolk County Council and the Snetterton landowners and this match funding had now been secured.


Phase 2 of the project had commenced and consultants had been engaged to produce a feasibility study and recommendations on the options involving CHP and EDF Energy solutions.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:


  • EDF Energy had estimated its required investment value to be £12.5 million to upgrade its supply to the level required for long term use.  While it would be possible to scale back these costs by phasing in the upgrades, it would be more cost effective to do the upgrade as a whole.

  • From the wider planning perspective, the main contingency factor for future development purposes at Snetterton was the question of energy supply.  The planning process was also taking into account the relationship of development at Snetterton with the REV and Thetford Growth Point projects.

  • The issue of renewable energy as a supplementary supply source would be included in the consultants’ feasibility study under Phase 2 of the Snetterton Utilities Project.


The Chairman thanked the Economic Projects Officer for presentation and the report was noted.



Local Development Framework: Core Strategy - Analysis of Candidate Local Service Centre Villages (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Report of the Operations Manager (Environment).

Additional documents:


Mr S. Faulkner from the Department of Planning and Transportation and Mr S. Edwards from the Children’s Services (Education) of Norfolk County Council were in attendance for this item by invitation to provide information and advice in relation to County Council planning and schools matters concerning the candidate villages.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer introduced the report, which provided an analysis of those larger villages in Breckland which had the potential to accommodate sustainable growth as part of the Core Strategy for the Breckland Local Development Framework (LDF).  Revisions to national planning policy and the emerging Regional Spatial Strategy (Regional Plan) recognised that larger villages could have a role in providing employment, services and housing to meet local needs.  Work to date on the Core Strategy had consistently proposed that there were a number of Local Service Centre villages in Breckland, which had drawn significant comment at the various stages of consultation.  As work on preparing the final draft Core Strategy for the LDF, it was important this locally determined element of the LDF was considered and a view given on what formed the basis of forthcoming LDF consultation.


Members’ views were accordingly sought on the number and strategy for proposed local service centre villages based on the evidence in the report as a basis for further work in finalising the Breckland Core Strategy and Development Control Policies Document for consultation later this year.


The report set out the background and the context for local service centres, the regional criteria for assessment and policy responses, an analysis of each of the candidate villages and the process to date.


In considering the candidate villages for possible selection as local service centres, there were four options available:


(1)               Delete a village from the list

(2)               Identify a village as a local service centre for service provision (i.e. provide protection and promotion of service provision in the community without further large growth or development)

(3)               Identify a village as a local service centre for development

(4)               Introduce additional villages as candidate local service centres


In regard to option (4), five villages in addition to the existing list of twelve villages had been promoted for local service centre status as part of the consultations on Development Choices in Spring 2007.


The regional assessment criteria defined key service centre villages as essentially large villages with a good level of services, which might include the following:


  • A primary school within the settlement and a secondary school with in the settlement or easily accessible by public transport
  • Primary health care facilities
  • A range of retail and service provision capable of meeting day-to-day needs, in particular convenience shopping
  • Local employment opportunities
  • Frequent public transport to higher order settlements


Additional factors which were to be taken into account were:


  • Community views (including Parish Plans/Appraisals)
  • Environmental factors (such as biodiversity, landscape, flood risk)
  • Infrastructure capacity
  • Existing levels of committed development


The Environmental Planning Manager explained that a lot of consultation had already taken place in reaching this stage and that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.


Work Programme (Agenda Item 8)

Members are invited to consider any additional items or topics for inclusion on the future work programme.


Items currently listed in the Panel’s programme are:


  • LDF and associated issues (ongoing)
  • New Planning Regulations – when developed
  • Regional Framework – interrelation with LDF and compatibility of policies
  • Thetford Growth Point Programme – periodic updates
  • A47-A1067 Link Road Improvement – periodic updates


18 September 2007


  • Snetterton Utilities Project Update
  • Local Development Framework: Core Strategy - Analysis of Candidate Local Service Centre Villages


23 October 2007


  • Items to be confirmed



The future timetable was agreed as follows:


23 October 2007

  • LDF - Preferred Options (Part 1)
  • LDF - Core Strategy

8 November 2007 (new meeting date)


  • LDF - Preferred Options (Part 2)


The following item was proposed and agreed for future consideration:


  • Public transport – impact of loss of recently announced services in rural villages and potential of flexibus system to meet rural transport need


Remaining items for future reports were:


  • New planning regulations, when developed
  • A47-A1067 link road improvement (update anticipated for early in new year)




Next Meeting (Agenda Item 9)

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 23 October 2007 at 10.00am at the Town Hall, Queen’s Square, Attleborough.


To consider dates for future meetings.


Arrangements for the next meeting on 23 October 2007 were noted.


The suggested additional meeting on 8 November 2007 was also agreed (venue to be confirmed).