Agenda and minutes

Venue: Memorial Hall, Norwich Street, Dereham

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 14 October 2009.


The minutes of the meeting held on 14 October 2009 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.




To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Mrs. M. Chapman-Allen, Mr. M. Fanthorpe, Mr. R. Goreham and Mrs. L. Turner.



Urgent Business

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item of urgent business.





Declaration of Interest

Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests pertinent to the items on this agenda.  The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is a personal or prejudicial interest.


Mr. P. Daines, Development Services Manager, declared a personal interest in item 5 as a resident of Shipdham.



Breckland Local Development Framework: Site Specifics Policies and Proposals - Proposed Preferred Sites for Dereham, Shipdham and Swanton Morley (Agenda Item 5) pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.


It is proposed to present the report in three parts with the following approximate timings, to enable any non-members wishing to attend only for a particular area to do so.


09.30am – 09.40am – Introduction

09.40am – 11.00am – Proposals for Dereham

11.00am – Break for refreshments

11.15am – 12.00 midday – Proposals for Shipdham

12.00 midday - Proposals for Swanton Morley



Members are kindly requested to bring to the meeting their copies of the Site Specific Policies and Proposals Issues and Options Consultation document (orange cover) and Additional Sites Consultation Spring 2009 (purple cover) for reference.


Additional documents:


The Principal Planning Policy Officer introduced the report, which sought Members’ views on the proposed preferred sites for Dereham, Shipdham and Swanton Morley, together with the reasonable alternative sites, both of which would be the subject of further public consultation when the Council publishes its Site Specific Policies and Proposals Preferred Sites Document in 2010.


Members were also asked to consider and confirm those sites identified as unreasonable (i.e. incapable of delivery due to reasons of flood risk, unsafe highway access, environmental considerations, etc.) and therefore not to be further tested in the preparation of the Site Specifics policy document.


The Task and Finish Group then proceeded with an examination of the proposed allocations for preferred, reasonable alternative sites, and list of unreasonable sites as follows (site references in brackets are those used in the Issues and Options and Additional Sites Consultation documents).  Details of each site are as contained in the appendices to the report:





In summary, Dereham had a total housing requirement of 1,971 new homes to meet the levels of growth over the life of the Plan to 2026, together with a requirement for 5-10 hectares of employment land and additional retail floor space.  Of the 1,971 new homes requirement, 1,371 had already either been completed or had the benefit of planning permission.  Therefore, land for the balance of 600 homes would need to be allocated up to 2026.


The main issues affecting sites in the town were:


  • Sewerage capacity
  • Employment sites with good access to the A47 trunk road
  • Environmental constraints – protected habitat sites etc.
  • Highways requirements
  • Sensitive landscapes
  • High grade agricultural land


Mr. Tony Needham, Clerk to the Dereham Town Council, was in attendance for this item to put the views of the Town Council.


Preferred Allocations in Dereham (Appendix B)


Site D1 [025-15/28/30/32] – Land at the Old Maltings, Norwich Road


A correction was noted to the amount of open space requirement to read 0.35 hectare.


In answer to a question, it was noted that large scale windfall developments were unlikely to come forward quickly due to the constraints in treating and discharging waste water that affect the town.


Mr. Needham advised that the Town Council wished to see a comprehensive master plan for this site and that it was felt that there should be a larger open space requirement, having regard to the deficit in open space in the town generally.


The Senior Planning Policy Officer explained that the size of the site was below that which would require a larger on-site open space provision but there would need to be developer contributions towards off-site open space provision.


Mr. Needham confirmed that the Town Council supported the inclusion of Site D1 as a preferred option, subject to satisfactory negotiation of developer contributions for off-site open space provision.


Site D2 [025-004] – Land off Greenfields Road


A question was asked about whether Greenfields Road could accommodate traffic from sites D1 and D2 or if it would need to be widened.  It was replied that there was an issue with the junctions onto the Norwich Road but that this would need to be looked at as a whole package with the Highways Authority.


A member expressed his concern at the issues associated with residential developments situated very close to major roads and the attenuation measures that would be needed to address problems of noise, fumes and pollution.  He felt there should be a buffer zone of at least 50m between major roads and residential developments.  Another member referred to similar issues at Swaffham and that proposals for Attleborough showed a buffer zone along the A11.


It was explained that noise would be an issue with any site.  However, the policy made provision for attenuation measures, which would need to be worked out when any development on this site came forward, as had been done on similar developments along the A47.


The Development Services Manager pointed out that this site had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27a




Mrs. Sylvia Tuck, together with Mr. Michael Shelly, was in attendance to represent the views of Shipdham Parish Council.


List of Unreasonable Sites in Shipdham (Appendix A)


The sites in question were those with the numbered prefix 085.


It was noted that site 085-033 had been formally withdrawn by the applicant.


In regard to site 085-024 – Land at Bradenham Road, the Ward Member had questioned the site’s classification as unreasonable and it was explained that it was included as an unreasonable site on grounds of unsafe highway access, backland development and amenities issues.


For the Parish Council, Mrs. Tuck reported her Council’s views as follows:


  • Small developments on sites 024 and 050 had merits as small sites for immediate development.
  • Sites 048 and 024 would maintain the linear nature of the village.
  • Site 005 offered a logical site and members disagreed with its rejection on grounds of access.


In reply, it was explained that site 024, located to the rear of Bradenham Road, lay outside the settlement boundary.


Site 005 was a former gravel/sand working located on Mill Road and was still a pit but now extensively wooded, with vegetation giving it a biodiversity value.  There was a highways constraint affecting access at the junction of Mill Road and the A1075, plus issues of visibility.


For these reasons, sites 005 and 024 were considered to be unreasonable.




The list of unreasonable sites for Shipdham as contained in Appendix A is endorsed.


Preferred Sites in Shipdham (Appendix C)


Site SH1 – Coal Yard and associated buildings, north of Chapel Street


In answer to questions, the following details were noted:


  • Relocation of businesses would be required but there were alternative sites available to enable the businesses to be retained within the village.


  • The site was understood to be in a single ownership but that it had been presented for inclusion by two separate agents.  In this connection, the wider alternative SH8 site, which included SH1, was in two separate ownerships.

  • The wooded area included in the original submission had been excluded on grounds of landscape and amenity value.

The Parish Council’s views on this site were that it was fronted by buildings which fell within the Conservation Area of the village and that much more information was required on the question of access onto the A1075.  It was also felt that the proposal raised the question of the extension of the village outside the existing boundaries, contrary to the existing linear character.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer advised that the Ward Member had also raised issues regarding access to the site.  Advice from the Highways Authority was that the proposal offered the opportunity to provide a strategy to service sites SH1 and SH2 but that this would involve a partial realignment of the road and the loss of some frontage buildings.


So far as the Conservation Area was concerned, it was felt the proposal offered the opportunity to enhance the character of this part of the village, where  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27b


Swanton Morley


Mr. Atterwill was in attendance to represent the views of Swanton Morley Parish Council.


List of Unreasonable Sites (Appendix A)


The sites in question were those with the numbered prefix 098.


Mr. Atterwill advised that the Parish Council was in agreement with the list of unreasonable sites.




The list of unreasonable sites for Swanton Morley as contained in Appendix A is endorsed.


Preferred Sites in Swanton Morley (Appendix D)


Site SM1 – Land at Gooseberry Hill


It was emphasised that this site would require careful development which was reflected in the wording of the policy.


A member asked the officers to explain how they had differentiated between the preferred option sites and reasonable alternatives in relation to the distance of the sites from village services and facilities.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer referred to the plan, which showed that the village had a dispersed character, with key facilities and services similarly dispersed.  It was felt that sites SM1 and SM2 were located centrally to these dispersed key facilities and services.


Mr. Atterwill stated that the Parish Council disagreed with that view and that the village survey had identified site SM4 as the preferred site for housing.


Furthermore, the Parish Council felt there would be a considerable visual impact on the green open space in the centre of the village.  Access would have to be south of the village rather than from Town Street, which would put it very close to the playing field and would pose an accident risk.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer replied that the Highways Authority had visited the site and agreed that access would have to be from the southern end of Gooseberry Hill, which would put it close to the play area.  However, precise details would be subject to negotiation.


Mrs. K. Millbank pointed out that the Historic Houses Association had raised concerns regarding the impact of overlooking on the adjoining Grade 2 Listed Building, as well as other issues of the impact on the building from the proximity of development on this site.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer advised that the Association’s concerns had been received and had been taken into account.  Advice had been taken from the Council’s Historic Buildings Officer, who confirmed that development of site SM1 was not ruled out provided the development reflected the setting of the property.  Development of this site need not extend to the hard edge of Gooseberry Hill.  A balanced development would be required to take account of the various needs of the area.


In answer to question, it was noted that the policy provided for an average density of 22 dwellings on the site but that was not to say that it would not be higher.  However, anything with a density in excess of 35 across the whole site would be contrary to Development Plan Policies.  Breckland’s local planning policies reflected local circumstances and the policy in SM1 was in line with that.


Mr. Atterwill reiterated that his Parish Council was opposed to development  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27c


Next Meeting

The next meeting of the LDF Task and Finish Group will be on Wednesday, 25 November 2009 at 09.30 a.m. in the Memorial Hall, Norwich Street, Dereham.


The arrangements for the next meeting on 25 November 2009 were noted.