Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Dereham

Contact: Julie Britton 

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2015.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 28 July 2015 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive any apologies for absence.





Declarations of Interest (Agenda Item 3)

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests that they have, in relation to an agenda item that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.


No declarations were made.



Urgent Business (Agenda Item 4)

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.





Non Members wishing to address the meeting (Agenda Item 5)

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


Councillors Bambridge, Borrett, M Chapman-Allen, Duigan, Joel, Martin, Nairn, Stasiak and Wilkinson were in attendance.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 6)





Neighbourhood Plans (Agenda Item 7)


The Strategic Planning Manager gave the following update:


·        Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan (NP) was under preparation, informal consultation expected to take place in November.

·        Mattishall Neighbourhood Planning Group had discussed their aspirations for site selection.

·        Swanton Morley Parish Council had appointed a Consultant to help with their NP.

·        An application had been received from Yaxham Parish Council.  Consultations would commence on 1 October 2015.

·        The Dereham NP Area had been confirmed since the last meeting of the Local Plan Working Group (LPWG).


The Chairman asked about the likelihood of the Referendum fitting in with the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections in 2016.  He was advised that of the seven or eight active Plans across the District, Attleborough was the only one likely to be ready to have a referendum at the same time as the PCC.


In response to a question from Councillor Borrett it was confirmed that as well as the five NPs mentioned above Kenninghall and Croxton/Kilverstone/Brettenham were working on their NP.


Councillor Borrett asked if they were all aware of the Council’s aspirations to hold a joint referendum and PCC election.


The Strategic Planning Manager said that they had all been advised but in some cases it was not relevant.  The timetable for each NP was bespoke.  It would be more cost effective to hold the referendums jointly with elections if possible and he noted that there would be a Norfolk County Council election in 2017.


Councillor Borrett asked if the Attleborough NP would become a material consideration in planning terms and it was confirmed that it would, once it had been adopted.


Councillor C Carter asked if there were any further NP in the pipeline and the Strategic Planning Manager said that he was not aware of any but they sometimes arrived without warning.  If Members were aware of any interested Parishes they were asked to let him know.


Councillor Joel was aware that Old Buckenham had a NP Steering Group.  He asked when the PCC election would take place.


The date of the PCC election was Thursday 5 May 2016. 


Councillor Nairn asked if there was a deadline for submission of NP and he was told that there was not.  However, NP submitted later would have to be in conformity with the Strategic Plan for the District once it had been adopted.  Whichever Plan was adopted most recently held most weight.


Councillor Borrett asked what would happen if there were areas of conflict and he was advised that they would be resolved at the Examination in Public by the Independent Inspector.


Mr Atterwill (Chairman of Swanton Morley Parish Council) pointed out that there was no financial burden on the Council as it received additional money from the Government for dealing with NP and therefore the referendums could be held at any time to suit the Parish Council.


The Strategic Planning Manager confirmed that there was no undue pressure on the Parish Councils but guidance suggested that the referendums should be combined with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46/14


Duty to Cooperate (Agenda Item 8)


The Strategic Planning Manager advised Members that there had been a Special meeting of the Norfolk Duty to Co-operate Group on 9 September at which the draft Central Norfolk Strategic Housing Market Assessment (CNSHMA) had been agreed.


The Cabinet had received a presentation on the draft CNSHMA from the Consultants on 22 September 2015.  It was expected that final sign off would be received late in October after all the commissioning Authorities had received the presentation and had the opportunity to comment on the draft document.

The Chairman remarked that it had been a very good presentation to Cabinet.



Local Development Scheme (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Growth.

Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Team Leader introduced the Capita Team: Stephen Ottewell (Operations Director), Martin Pendlebury (Director of Planning & Business Manager), James Mann (Planning Policy Graduate) and Melissa Kurihara (Planning Policy Consultant).


At the previous LPWG meeting a revised Local Development Scheme (LDS) had been requested for discussion at the next LPWG meeting.  The draft LDS was presented.  Members were advised that it reflected the agreed Service Delivery Plan and the optimum time line required to have a Local Plan in place by 2017.  The new timeline indicated a second Local Plan consultation in November/December 2015, the publication of the Draft Plan in April/May 2016, with submission to the Secretary of State anticipated in July 2016.  It was currently expected that the Local Plan would be adopted by the end of 2016.

The Planning Policy Team Leader noted that it might be necessary to amend the timetable in future to reflect the actual delivery and changes in the anticipated workloads.   A number of risks to the anticipated timetable had been identified which included:

·        the requirement to co-operate with other Councils that were yet to approve their SHMA; 

·        National Policy as the agenda for change might impact on the Plan’s production; 

·        staff resources which were also a medium to long-term risk (but Capita aimed to minimise that); and

·        third party delays on evidence gathering.


The LDS presented an optimum timeline for the Local Plan but it remained a complex and iterative process.  Everything was inter-related and could change.  Members were asked for their endorsement.


The Chairman noted that some modifications to the SHMA had been suggested at Cabinet.  They wanted the Local Plan produced in a timely manner to address the Council’s Five Year Housing Land Supply issues.


Councillor M Chapman-Allen asked if the timeline had slipped as she had thought that the initial consultation would take place in September.


The Planning Policy Team Leader advised that the original date had been June 2015 with the Issues & Options document being ready in April 2014 but those dates had been postponed due to further evidence requirements to comply with changes in Government guidance regarding housing need and complex and changing legislation.  This had resulted in a delay with the original Issues and Options document.  Officers had been working hard to minimise the effect of the delay and the time line aimed to claw back some of that lost time.


The Executive Member for Place was concerned about staff resources.  If an important member of staff left it was difficult to fill that post.  He asked if there were any contingencies in place.


The Director of Planning & Business Manager reported that Sarah Robertson (Planning Policy Officer) would be returning to the team shortly after a Sabbatical.  There were also wider Capita resources available to cover during local shortages.


The Operations Manager (Capita) said that the main intention was to build up local resources but there was a nationwide issue with recruitment.  However, another new starter would commence in November.


Councillor Borrett referred to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48/14


The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment 2015 Addendum and Emerging Local Plan Preferred Options (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Growth.

Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Team Leader presented the report and explained that it remained a work in progress and was not the final version.  In relation to the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) addendum, the report represented an update on the theoretical land supply available for development.  The previous SHLAA had been updated to reflect the sites submitted for assessment in the proposed and expanded spatial strategy.  The sites identified as deliverable and developable in the SHLAA had been taken forward into the Local Plan site assessment, reflecting the approach advocated in the Planning Practice Guidance.  The Local Plan maps attached in Appendix 2 and 3 represented the emerging Local Plan site options and should be as Draft as the process was iterative and ongoing.  Currently the maps showed site options, not preferred options.  Members would have further opportunities to discuss the selection of sites following the consultation.  Members were advised that the document would evolve as it was taken through Committees.  A schedule of amendments, taking into account the views of the Working Group, the Strategic Planning Manager and Officers would be complied and would form the basis of further work.  In terms of Neighbourhood Planning the document provided an indication of the strategic policies, which would help parishes in their approach to their own plan aspirations.


He then gave a short presentation (copy attached for information) on the key areas and discussion topics and recapped on what had been taken into consideration and the methodology used.


With regard to affordable housing targets, the recommendations from the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) were noted, but it was pointed out that any policy would still be subject to viability assessments. 


The Gypsy & Traveller needs had to be met in full and there would be a review of the existing temporary sites.  Only one new site had been put forward which might cause an issue.  It was also noted that a recent change in Government guidance on the planning definition of a Gypsy/Traveller meant that they now had to be travelling to qualify.  This raised the question of how overall level of need could be established.  Further evidence might be required.


At the conclusion of the presentation the Executive Member for Growth referred to Policy 12 on page 106 of the Agenda.  At the previous meeting concerns had been raised about sparsity in rural areas and he felt that the blanket approach proposed would add to the problem.


The Strategic Planning Manager agreed and said it needed to be clear how it could be applied consistently.  He was also concerned that there appeared to be limited alternative options put forward for some of the policy areas.


The Planning Policy Team Leader said the aim was to direct growth to those settlements identified in the settlement hierarchy.  For those smaller settlements that were considered unsustainable the proposal was to appropriate development through criteria based policies such as infill and rounding off.  The windfall allowance would be expected to continue.


Councillor Borrett was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49/14


Annual Monitoring Report (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Growth.

Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Graduate presented the report which was a factual update which was carried out annually.  The report covered the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.  He highlighted the key points including that the number of houses completed was below the required target but an improvement on the previous year.  19% affordable housing had been delivered which was the highest amount since 2009/10.


He pointed out that there was a column missing from the table on page 295 which would be added before publication.


Subject to Member approval the document would now be published.


Councillor Duigan thought that there had been slow progress in Thetford.  The Sustainable Urban Development had been approved 15 months ago but the legal agreement had still not been signed.


The Strategic Planning Manager clarified that the planning permission would not be issued until the legal agreement had been signed.  Progress on that was being made.




(1)   The contents of the report were noted; and

(2)   Publication of the Annual Monitoring Report on the Council’s website be approved.