Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Large Court, The Guildhall, Thetford

Contact: Julie Britton 

No. Item


Apologies (Agenda Item 1)

To receive any apologies for absence.





Declarations of Interest (Agenda Item 2)

The duties to register, disclose and not to participate for the entire consideration of the matter, in respect of any matter in which a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest are set out in Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011.  Members are also required to withdraw from the meeting room as stated in the Standing Orders of this Council.



No declarations were made.



Urgent Business (Agenda Item 3)

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 4)

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


Councillors Borrett, M Chapman-Allen, Claussen, Crawford and Newton were in attendance.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 5)


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked if there were any particular issues which members of the audience wished to have addressed.


Mr Atterwill (Chairman, Swanton Morley Parish Council) asked about the changes to the Housing Allocations.  His query would be addressed under Agenda Item 6.


Mr Kybird (Thetford Town Councillor) asked about the Settlement Boundary for Thetford.  He was advised that there was no change apart from the Sustainable Urban Extension being included within the boundary.


Ms Wright (Mundford Parish Councillor) asked for an explanation of the cut-off for the five qualifying Local Service Centre criteria.  Her query would be addressed under Agenda Item 6.



Locational Strategy, Level and Location of Growth and Rural Areas (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 437 KB

Report by Stephen Ottewell, Director Capita Planning & Building Control.


Steve Ottewell (SO), Operations Director, Capita presented the report which proposed a revised approach to policies regarding:


·        locational strategy (PD03),

·        the level and location of growth (PD04); and

·        the approach to rural areas (PD05). 


Officers had been asked to carry out further work on those three areas of the document, prior to the next stage which would be to consult on interim sites and Settlement Boundaries in September. 


Locational Strategy

Originally 22 Local Service Centres (LSC) had been proposed, but following previous consultation and Member steer it was now proposed that only those villages which met all five qualifying criteria (listed at paragraph 1.6 of the report) should be designated as LSC.


The consequence of that re-assessment was that Ashill would become a LSC and Beetley, Hockham, Mundford and Saham Toney would be removed from the list.


Councillor Claussen asked if Yaxham would have the chance to make comments at the meeting on Friday 15 July, and it was confirmed that they would.


Ms Weight (Mundford Parish Council) noted that Mundford had been judged to have no employment but she thought the data was based on out of date figures.   She listed several enterprises in the village which offered employment opportunities and asked if the qualifying criteria included walking distance to the workplace.


Mr Poulter (Chairman, Brettenham & Kilverstone Parish Council) also asked about the criteria for employment.


The Chairman asked if the criteria were based on the percentage of employment opportunities to the number of residents.


SO said that no specific calculation was applied.  Where it said ‘none’ for employment it meant that the opportunities were not significant enough to satisfy the criteria rather than there being no employment whatsoever.  The acceptable walking distance to primary schools was deemed to be 800metres and it would probably be the same for employment however that could be open to debate.


Mr Poulter noted that Kilverstone had a high ratio of employment opportunities to the number of residents and a Tesco supermarket, but that information was not included in the service and facilities audit at Appendix 1 to the report.


Mr Andrew (Croxton Parish Council) said the information was also incorrect for Croxton as it had a Post Office, a bus service and some rural (farming) employment.


Ms Weight suggested that account should be taken of how far a village was from a train station, as that had a bearing on the number of employment opportunities.


Councillor M Chapman-Allen asked about Garboldisham, which had been identified as a LSC.  She wanted confirmation that it would retain its Settlement Boundary and that no development would be allowed outside of that boundary. 


SO confirmed that each LSC would receive a housing allocation and the Settlement Boundary would be revised to incorporate any allocation(s).


The Chairman thanked everyone for their input.  Employment had been a common theme and Officers were still in the process of updating the audit information.  More up to date information should be available at future meetings. He had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15/16


Settlement Boundaries and Preferred Sites (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 540 KB

Report by Stephen Ottewell, Director Capita Planning & Building Control.


All wards in Breckland are affected by the Local Plan. This report focuses on the following parishes designated as Rural Areas:


Ashill, Beeston, Besthorpe, Bintree, Bradenham, Brisley, Carbrooke, Caston, Cockley Cley, Colkirk, Croxton, East Tuddenham, Foulden,Foxley, Garvestone, Gooderstone, Great Dunham, Gressenhall, Griston, Guist, Ickburgh,Little Cressingham, Longham, Lyng, Mileham, New Buckenham, North Lopham, North Pickenham, Rocklands, Scarning, Shropham, Snetterton, Sparham, Stanfield, Stow Bedon,Tittleshall, Thompson, Weasenham and Whissonsett.

Additional documents:


Steve Ottewell (SO), Operations Director, Capita presented the report and noted that the criteria based approach for the Settlement Boundary review was set out at paragraph 1.10 of the report.

Councillor Bambridge was concerned that representatives from some parishes to be discussed were not present, but would be attending a future meeting.  He asked if consideration of their Settlement Boundaries could be deferred.


Councillor S Chapman-Allen clarified that all Clerks and Chairmen of Parish Councils had been notified of the information that would be discussed.


The Chairman asked Members to note the recommendation and said there was no need to endorse the approach before considering individual parishes.


AGREED to note the proposed approach to the settlement boundary review as the basis for the forthcoming discussions at the Local Plan Working Group sessions, where feedback would be invited on the settlement boundary review document.


Councillor Borrett noted that the Group had already discussed the issues.  Previously the removal of the Settlement Boundary meant there could be no development, but as part of the new process future development would be based on Policy PD05A and PD05B.  He therefore expected the proposals to be supported unless specific issues were raised.


Councillor Bambridge agreed on the basis of PD05A and B, but if that Policy was not adopted he suggested that Settlement Boundaries should be restored.


Proposals for the following parish settlement boundaries were then discussed.


Cockley Cley – Limited opportunities for further development inside the Settlement Boundary.  Land all within the Stone Curlew Settlement Boundary. No objections received from the Ward Representative or parish councillors.

Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary.


Gooderstone – No objections received from the Ward Representative or parish councillors.

Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary.


Ickburgh - No objections received from the Ward Representative or parish councillors.

Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary.


Mundford – Identified as having three services, therefore falling under PD05A.  No objections received from the Ward Representative or parish councillors.

Agreed, to endorse the proposed retention of the Settlement Boundary.


Weeting – classed as a Local Service Centre.  No housing allocation proposed due to Environmental constraints.


Croxton – It was proposed to remove the Settlement Boundary.

Mr Andrew (Croxton Parish Council) reiterated that the criteria were inaccurate and the Parish Council wanted to retain the Settlement Boundary as it was.  They were against all development.  The area was rural farm land and should be left that way.  That view had been supported by the Inspector at a Planning Appeal in 2010.  The village had a school, a Post Office, a community village hall with playing field, a bus service and two farm employment areas.


SO asked if the bus service was sufficient to enable people to get to and from work.  Mr Andrew said that people could walk to the employment places.  He was not sure of the details of the bus service but said that it accessed Watton and Thetford, five  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16/16


Next Meeting (Agenda Item 8)

The next meeting of the Local Plan Working Group will be held on Tuesday, 12 July 2016 at 9.30am at The Community Centre, Swaffham


The arrangements for the next meeting were noted.