Agenda and minutes

Venue: Norfolk & Dereham Rooms, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham

Contact: Committee Services  Tel 01362 656870

Note: This will be an all day meeting and a buffet lunch will be provided for members. 

No. Item



To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2007.


The minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2007 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.




To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Mr. W.P. Borrett, Mr. R.P. Childerhouse, Mr. I.A.C. Monson and Mrs. P. Quadling.  Mr. K. Martin and Mr. A. Byrne gave apologies for their late arrival.



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 Solicitor and Standards Consultant gave advice as to the declaration of interests in relation to consideration of the Local Development Framework.  In general, where members had an interest in land a personal interest would exist; such interest in relation to general policy matters need not be prejudicial so long as the land was not affected any more than any other.  However, if the discussion indicated that the policy would directly affect such land (for example, that its value or development potential could be increased or decreased), then the member might feel it proper to declare a prejudicial interest at that point and leave the meeting.


The following declarations were made in regard to Agenda Item 6:


  • Mr. M. Kiddle-Morris – Personal interest as a landowner in a service centre village
  • Mr. S.G. Bambridge – Personal interest from professional interest in LDF
  • Mr. J.P. Labouchere – Personal interest as a landowner in North Elmham
  • Mr. J.D. Rogers – Personal & prejudicial interest  as Ward Member and has land interests in relation to LDF matters relating to Carbrooke



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 to speak to agenda item 6:


  • Councillor E. Gould – Chairman, Development Control Committee
  • Mrs. A. Steward – Executive Member, Planning & Housing
  • Mr. B. Rose
  • Mr. M. Kiddle-Morris
  • Mrs. S. Howard-Alpe
  • Mr. S.G. Bambridge
  • Councillor C. Bowes
  • Mr. J.P. Labouchere



Local Development Framework (LDF): Breckland Core Strategy and Development Control Policies Development Plan Document (DPD) - Preferred Policy Options Consultation (Agenda Item 6)


It was noted that the views from this meeting would be reported to the Cabinet when it considered the matter on 20 November 2007.



Core Policies (continued)

Part 2 consideration of Preferred Policy Options Consultation, adjourned from the last meeting (Minute 68/07 refers).


Printed versions of the following additional supporting documents are enclosed with this agenda as separate documents:


§         Appendix 6: Preferred Options (REG26): Development Control Policies

§         Appendix 7: Sustainability Appraisal: Development Control Policies


The documents can also be viewed online using the following link:


Members should bring to the meeting their copy of the following documents as previously circulated:


  • Report of the Operations Manager (Environment)
  • Appendix 1: LDF Diagram
  • Appendix 2: Summary of Preferred Options for Members
  • Appendix 3: Core Strategy & Development Control Policies Preferred Options 2007

Supporting Documents folder containing:

  • Appendix 4a: Results of consultation to date
  • Appendix 4b: Development Choices Consultation feedback
  • Appendix 4c: Summary of Comments from REG26 Stage
  • Appendix 5: Sustainability Appraisal: Core Strategy Policies


[Note - For those members not present at the last meeting, copies of the supporting documents folder will be available for them at the meeting.]


Members are asked to retain their copies of the above documents for future reference.


Following on from the adjourned meeting on 23 October 2007, discussions on the Core Policies continued as follows:


CP4 Infrastructure


This policy aimed to deliver a proactive approach to infrastructure provision. 


Key issues related to the need for extra capacity for high schools at Dereham, Attleborough, Thetford and Old Buckenham; additional new primary school provision in Thetford, Attleborough and Dereham; enhancements to capacity at Dereham, Wayland (Watton) and Litcham high schools.  Additional strategic waste water treatment capacity was also needed at Attleborough and Dereham to meet future development.


Members endorsed the importance of resolving these issues for the District and during discussion the following further points were made:


  • A critical date for sewage treatment capacity in Thetford was 2016.  A separate water cycle study was being made which would include technical solutions to meet future needs.

  • Members remained of the view that infrastructure to meet housing expansion, particularly regarding schools, should be in place before housing development started.  It was explained that the preferred policy option put a responsibility on developers to demonstrate that developments would not harm existing provisions.

  • There was concern that the Council had little control over the provision of infrastructure, such as schools, sewerage and public transport.

  • Views were expressed in support of developers’ contributions from Section 106 Agreements to support community infrastructure needs.  In this regard, it was noted that the bulk of such funding would be related to housing developments but which would come only on completion of developments.  It was proposed by a member that the Council should adopt a policy requiring S106 Agreements to be agreed and signed prior to the submission of planning applications, which it was felt would help to speed up the planning system and also improve the Council’s Government planning grant.  It was explained that the Council was embarking on a major review of S106 policy, a key part of which would be to look at the issue around the timing of developer contributions and implementation of infrastructure.

  • So far as Dereham was concerned, it was confirmed that the problems facing schools and water treatment capacity were well understood.  A strategic risk model had been produced and solutions were being investigated.


            (Note – Mr. P.J. Duigan declared a personal interest in regard to the above point as a member of Dereham Town Council, which owned land in the town.)

CP5 Town Centres


This policy took a cautious approach to out of town retailing, which would require strong evidence of need and demonstrate that no town centre sites were available.


Primary retail shopping areas were to be defined in the proposals maps and were designed to limit the use of non-retail developments in those areas to prevent any over-dominance.


During discussion, the following points were raised:


  • In regard to Dereham, there was a need to factor in the impact on food retailing provision in the town from the recent planning approval for the expansion of the Tesco store.  With regard to non-retail use, the strategy would focus non-retail  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75a


Development Control Policies


DC1 Amenity


This policy was aimed at ensuring developments did not have a detrimental effect on the amenity of an area.


In answer to questions, the following points were noted:


  • This policy would apply to all new developments.  If a site with planning permission was sold on before development, the site remained subject to the existing planning permission.  However, if the new owner submitted a fresh planning application for the site, then it could be reconsidered and the policy would apply.

  • Similarly, an existing use giving rise to problems, such as odour nuisance, would continue to be dealt with under its existing permissions and conditions, with any enforcement or control issues being dealt with through other means, for example Environmental Health.

  • Members were strongly of the opinion that enforcement was a critical issue which needed to go hand in hand with planning policy and should be well resourced, both in terms of funding and staff.  A member also raised a question about how the Council monitored enforcement by other agencies to ensure compliance with development conditions.  In response to the latter point, it was explained that there were separate processes governing enforcement of development outside the Council’s control but that there was close liaison with relevant agencies to ensure a concerted approach was taken.

  • Another member highlighted the problems of noise nuisance that could occur with employment in the countryside from changes of use from agricultural to light industrial and felt that caution was needed when dealing with such applications.


DC2 Principles of New Housing


It was explained that new guidance permitted lower densities than the national average of 30 dwellings per hectare.


This policy defined high density developments as 40 dwellings per hectare and lower density developments as 22 to 30 dwellings per hectare (8 or 9 houses per acre) which could be applied to rural locations.


The policy also defined the parameters that would apply to the mix and type of housing.


The following issues were discussed:


  • Options that could be used to determine site specific densities, although evidence would be needed to justify any prescription.  The policy should be read in conjunction with the various other related policies, e.g. design principles, amenity etc.

  • Design and character of an area were key issues to the determination of density of developments.

  • It was suggested that it would be more prudent for the policy to refer to lower density developments as “up to 30 dwellings per hectare”, rather than the more specific “22 to 30 dwellings”, since anything less than 22 could be challenged at appeal.

  • So far as mixed use development in town centres was concerned, it was recognised that this could be an issue but the aim was to achieve a balance between need and character of the area, etc.


  • A member was concerned over the detrimental impact that could be caused to an area from unsympathetic annex developments in gardens.  He considered that the creation of separate annexes in gardens should not be permitted to split gardens.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75b