Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Dereham

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.



Councillor Richmond and Councillor Duffield declared an interest in relation to sites that they had registered in the Local Plan in Beetley and Gressenhall.



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 Kate Millbank, Linda Monument, Paul Claussen, Richard Duffield, Phillip Duigan and Robert Richmond.



Chairman's Announcements (if any) (Agenda item 5)


Simon Wood (SW), Interim Business Manager, Capita informed the meeting that this was the third Working Group to consider the proposed site allocations and settlement boundaries within the District.  The Planning Policy Team had assessed each area according to the criteria as listed at paragraph 1.6 of the Locational Strategy, Level and Location of Growth and Rural Areas report published on 4 July 2016   Further work had been completed on the housing trajectory, this had demonstrated that the SUEs within Thetford and Attleborough were not expected to be delivered in their entirety within the Plan period.  As a consequence, and to meet the housing requirement, a higher level of provision in the largest settlements would now be required which was different to what had been discussed previously at the meetings earlier in the year.  The revised distribution of proposed housing growth had been endorsed at the first LPWG meeting held in Thetford on 11 July 2016 as follows:


·         Key settlements – 50%

·         Market Towns – 30%

·         Local Service Centres – 15%

·         Rural areas – 5%.


This distribution was still consistent with the broad Spatial Strategy.


The second report that was discussed at the Thetford meeting was in relation to Policy PD05 which had been split into two parts.  PD05a applied to settlements that met three out of five of the service facilities audit identified in paragraph 1.6 of the settlement boundary report (published on 4 July).  PD05b would apply to the smaller villages that had two or fewer of the service facilities required.  These villages would have no settlement boundary but small amounts of development could be permitted if they had local support in accordance with Policy PD05b.


This would all be subject to further consultation following this round of LPWG meetings.


The Chairman advised that this round of meetings was for the Group to hear views from the public to help shape the document.  Further consultation would be had followed by the document being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.


Councillor Duigan, a Ward Member for Toftwood and a Town Councillor for Dereham, felt that the change to the number of proposed housing growth for the market towns contained very little information as to how the figures had been reached.   He had no idea, until now, that Swaffham and Dereham was going to be allocated 600/700 houses.  The Neighbourhood Plan had been put together on the former figures and he asked if this would mean that the background documents would have to be changed.  Further explanation was required.


Roger Atterwill, the Chairman of Swanton Morley Parish Council, informed Members that the Parish had been completely thrown out by these new figures and had grave reservations for the five year land supply if the 5000 houses were not delivered in Thetford.  He asked if this would have a knock on effect to all the other areas and also asked why the change of heart so late in the day.


Tony Needham, Dereham Town Council, pointed out that the monitoring report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31/14


Preferred Sites (Agenda item 6)


Bawdeswell pdf icon PDF 384 KB

Additional documents:


Bawdeswell had been designated a Local Service Centre due to meeting the five criteria.  The preferred site which was subject to a pending planning application was allocated to the southern edge of the village centre for 33 units – the requirement would be met if permission was granted.  The two alternative sites were located to the north of the village - one having site capacity of 45 dwellings and the other 36.  The site to the west (005) was considered more isolated although Norfolk County Council Highways had raised no objections.


Mr William Mason, Vice-Chairman of Bawdeswell Parish Council agreed that although the village was quite small some growth must be accommodated but he felt that Local Service Centre status should be removed and the settlement boundary be retained as it was.  Bawdeswell did not have as many businesses as suggested on the audit and there were significant concerns in relation to drainage/sewage.    Members were informed that a planning application was being considered at Breckland’s Planning Committee soon; therefore, more time should be provided to consider this document.


The Ward Member for Bawdeswell, Councillor Gordon Bambridge reminded everyone in attendance that these meetings had been arranged to listen to all concerns.  He agreed with the drainage concerns on the planning application site which he felt should be addressed sooner rather than later.


In response to a technical question, the Strategic Planning Manager explained that soundness concerns to the Local Plan would be likely if a village had its Local Service Centre status removed when all the necessary criteria had been met; there would be a danger of inconsistency within the document.


Mr Atterwill hoped that the document that Breckland Council put forward was going to be consistent as the requirement of the five criteria was, in his opinion, a very good formula and was sound and he felt that villages that remained as Local Service Centres would be able to cope.


Mr Mason disagreed as there was no consideration for medical facilities and he questioned the criteria.  SW felt that the criteria were fairly explicit and Bawdeswell met every one.  As far as drainage was concerned, Anglia Water had raised no objections to this allocation or the planning application as it was felt to be the most sustainable site.  Councillor Bambridge was shocked to hear that Anglia Water thought that the drainage on this site was adequate; and it was, therefore,


AGREED that the preferred site be endorsed; subject to the outcome of the planning application and flooding/drainage issues.



Dereham pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:


A detailed presentation would be provided once the transport study had been completed.  The background context to that study, the key emerging findings and conclusions were highlighted.  MP stressed that the Study findings did not provide any indication of a locational advantage in transport terms as all traffic intersected at the Tavern Land junction.  He concluded that it was possible for Members to consider the sites to be put forward for consultation.  He acknowledged that this would be very important evidence base for the Local Plan.


Councillor Kate Millbank, Ward Member for Dereham and a Member of Dereham Town Council asked what the potential mitigation measures were for the Yaxham Road/Tavern Lane junction as this she felt was a major part of the problem in Dereham.  Members were informed that there was a quick win solution in terms of improvement works to the existing highways junction but that a wider solution had also been identified.  SW assured the meeting that there was a scheme being proposed but he was unable to provide additional detail as the scheme was currently being costed.  MP pointed out that the study had been very helpful as County Highways had now acknowledged that the Tavern Lane junction was a problem which had been supported by evidence.


The Chairman of Whinburgh & Westfield Parish Council pointed out that there had been further development in that area since November when the study was first carried out SW had those businesses been encompassed.  The roads and roundabouts were always backed up and there was a capacity problem and he asked how this would impact on any of the planning applications proposed in Dereham.  MP advised that the Transport Consultants had taken these businesses into account.  SW then explained that the Study would seek to highlight the solution in terms of development; the planning applications would not be determined until the outcome of the Transport Study was published.  The Chairman of Whinburgh & Westfield Parish Council asked if any applications would be declined on the outcome of the Study.  It was noted that there was a test that planning applications had to meet.  Councillor Duigan presumed that Highways would have to finance any improvements to mitigate these problems.  He asked if this Study concentrated on just the proposed Yaxham Road development.  MP advised that the Transport Consultants had been fed the information on all the potential allocated sites.  Councillor Duigan asked if the proposed development on Swanton Road had been taken into account.  SW assured the meeting that all growth scenarios had been factored into the modelling.  Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen wanted to know if the four sites that were coming forward had outline planning permission.  SW stated that there were not any consents on any; all were pending.  Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen suggested that a meeting should be had with Dereham Town Council and the Planning Officers to discuss all these problems that the town faced. 


A Dereham resident was concerned that Officers had come to this meeting without all the necessary  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32/14b


Hockering pdf icon PDF 391 KB

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Councillor Bambridge who lived in the village stated that Hockering had been designated as a Local Service Centre and had a revised allocation of 25 dwellings - the preferred site was capable of holding 16 units and there was no suitable access onto The Street.


Mr Hawker from Hockering Parish Council had lived in the village for 30 years but was employed in Dereham, since then he had seen a huge increase in housing and traffic and wondered when it would all come to an end.  He felt that it was not just the housing in Dereham that exacerbated the traffic and asked if public transport had been considered taking account of the daily queues on the A47.  Referring to the Local Service Centre designation that Hockering had been given, he was not aware of any major employment in the village, there were no medical facilities, no consideration had been given to drainage/sewage and he profoundly believed that Hockering was not suitable as a Service Centre and was certainly not suitable for any more growth.


The Chairman disagreed and believed that Hockering met the criteria for Service Centre status.  SW highlighted the audit that had been carried out for the village.  Again Mr Hawker queried the employment and asked where the 22 businesses were.  MP said that this information would be shared with him.


Councillor Bambridge drew attention to the sites that the Officers believed should go forward.  Mr Hawker felt that none of the sites were suitable and stated that this was an opportunity for local authorities to take a step forward to Government stating that Breckland Council was not happy with all this uncontrolled growth.  SW pointed out that the existing consents for 41 dwellings had been taken into account.


AGREED that the preferred site 004 be endorsed for consultation.


Mattishall pdf icon PDF 616 KB

Additional documents:


As a Local Service Centre, Mattishall had been given a revised allocation of 105 dwellings. 


A Mattishall representative stated that the Neighbourhood Plan had been published and Mattishall had no problem being designated as a Local Service Centre.  The village had a strong relationship with Dereham and Norwich and the village was happy to have some development but they were not content with the preferred site in question.  The preferred site was capable of 77 units and he felt that all sites should not be greater than 24 dwellings and should be phased over the life time of the Local Plan.  One planning application had already been rejected due to the flooding report therefore 77 houses being placed on that site was in his opinion ridiculous.  He felt that any development in the village should happen in the east and he mentioned some sites situated at South Green which had for some unknown reason been ruled out.  He and the parishioners would prefer to see the smaller sites on the first map on page 10 of the agenda to be given further consideration.


A Neighbourhood Plan representative said that she would not want to see any of the sites under site no. 015 downwards ruled out.  Any development to the west would not be good for the village with significant consequences.


PM mentioned the comments received from the Neighbourhood Plan Group and informed residents that there was further investigation to be carried out on those other sites.


AGREED that the preferred site be endorsed, not the alternatives. Officers were to re-examine other alternative sites to see of these were capable of being reasonable alternatives.


North Elmham pdf icon PDF 522 KB

Additional documents:


North Elmham had been designated as a Local Service Centre and had a revised allocation requirement of 55 dwellings.  There were two preferred sites and three alternatives sites to consider.


Mr John Labouchere a representative from the village stated that North Elmham and the surrounding villages hinged on the town of Dereham a great deal.  He was happy with the Local Service Centre designation but the village had everything it needed and as far as he was concerned was full.  He felt that the alternative site, 006 should be considered with great care as the land was very wet as it adjoined the river.  The yellow hatched site should have the railway gates and the post re-aligned with the road and site 009 was being presented to the Planning Committee on 25th July.  He also felt that the settlement boundary should not be breached without consultation.  MP informed Members that the resolution to grant planning permission on the yellow hatched site was subject to planning conditions addressing the safety issues at the Railway crossing.


Another North Elmham representative felt that site 001 to the north of the village would bring particular benefit to the community as a footpath had been installed.


AGREED that site 006 be withdrawn due to flood risk concerns and the remaining sites be endorsed.



Swanton Morley pdf icon PDF 468 KB

Additional documents:


Swanton Morley had been designated as a Local Service Centre and had a revised allocation of 85 units.  There was one preferred site and three alternatives.


Mr Roger Atterwill, the Chairman of Swanton Morley Parish Council mentioned the email that the Clerk of the Parish Council sent to the Planning Policy Officers asking for evidence of how these sites had been arrived at, as yet, no response had been received.  He highlighted the sites that the residents and the Parish Council were in support of.   He felt that there would be a serious social sustainability issue if the sites near the Village Hall, namely 0002 and 0003 were developed and he asked that these be removed.  The facility was used a great deal for big events and any building near it would affect the Hall’s licence.


The Strategic Planning Manager advised that adverse comments in relation to these two sites had been received.  He was averse to removing these sites from the consultation but he asked if the Parish Council had any alternatives that they felt should come forward.  In response, Mr Atterwill informed the meeting that he was here to offer the evidence required and this evidence had proved that there had been an overwhelming desire from residents/parish council to build on 014 and 016 as the Wensum Way had been completely resurfaced.   The road would have to be widened and cycle ways and footpaths would need to be installed and additional parking facilities could be installed adjacent to the school.  He reminded Members that the evidence he had requested from the Officers had not been forthcoming.


The Chairman asked if site 001 could be removed and Mr Atterwill asked if sites 014 and 016 could be added as more development could be had.  The Strategic Planning Manager explained that all of these sites had already been put forward in the last round of consultation earlier in the year and that whilst he noted public opinion from the Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan survey, in pure planning terms they should still be consulted on as alternatives albeit not preferred for the reasons outlined.


It was agreed that sites 0014 and 0016 would be added as further alternative options and site 001 would be removed.


Councillor Bambridge felt that Swanton Morley had been very pro-active in getting these sites into the mix.


Mr Atterwill asked if sites 0014 and 0016 could be changed to preferred sites and all the alternative sites be removed.  In response, the Strategic Planning Manager said the answer to this request was no as they all have to be considered in the consultation process and the number of sites aligned to the updated draft housing numbers.


It was agreed that 0014 and 0016 could be added as alternative sites.  Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen supported this proposal and he noted, without prejudice, the other 3 sites may not be taken forward following further consultation.


It was noted that over-allocation would be welcomed in some areas.


AGREED that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32/14f


Yaxham pdf icon PDF 502 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman asked if there had been an update as to whether Yaxham should be classed as a Local Service Centre based on some information from the Parish Council prior to the meeting.  MP advised that it was considered that Yaxham fulfilled all five criteria.  There was a shop and the public house was closed at the moment but could possibly re-open.  The employment in the village was highlighted.


Mr Tibbetts, a Yaxham resident said that the main employment originated from the village shop.  The pub, he was certain would never re-open and the remaining employment consisted of one and two man bands – mostly self-employed people.  Further to this there was no infrastructure and no medical facilities.


The Chairman felt that the employment in Yaxham should be classed as border-line thus reducing the criteria from 5 to 4 meaning Yaxham could be dropped as a Service Centre.  It was agreed that the status of the school was up to capacity and the village could not support any further expansion. However, others felt that more housing could support the shop and create more community vibrancy.


Discussions were had in relation to no room to expand the school due to lack of land.


Yaxham did want growth but not Local Service Centre status.  The Chairman said that there must be good reason for such status being removed.


It was pointed out that development in Yaxham could have a detrimental effect to the traffic in Dereham and Mattishall but 25 dwellings over a 20 year period was considered to be acceptable.


Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen stated that Croxton had similarly been invited to challenge the audit document.


AGREED that the preferred site be endorsed, subject to further evidence being provided prior to the Cabinet meeting on 30 August 2016 in relation to the service audit.


Settlement Boundaries - Please refer to the Settlement Boundaries and Preferred Sites Report as mentioned at the beginning of the agenda (Agenda item 7)

·         Dereham

·         Scarning

·         Longham

·         Gressenhall

·         Beetley

·         Swanton Morley

·         Garvestone

·         Yaxham

·         Mattishall

·         East Tuddenham

·         Hockering

·         North Tuddenham

·         Lyng

·         Sparham

·         Bawdeswell

·         Foxley

·         Bintree

·         North Elmham

·         Brisley

·         Guist


It was noted that Local Service Centres would retain their Settlement Boundaries.  The meaning of a settlement boundary was explained.


Mr Atterwill read aloud a response from the Planning Policy Team in relation to the information that he had requested earlier in the week which he had just received.



Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05B



Agreed to amend the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05A



There was some disappointment that Beetley had lost its Local Service Centre designation.  It was confirmed that there was no Settlement Boundary for Old Beetley and East Bilney.

Agreed to endorse the proposed retention of the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05A.



Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05B


East Tuddenham

Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05B



It was noted that the Parish Council had requested that the Settlement Boundary be retained as it was.

Agreed, that the proposed amendment to the Settlement Boundary be endorsed.



Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05B



Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05B



Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05B



A Brisley representative pointed out that there was divided opinion on Brisley; however, the majority favoured retention without any further development as it was felt that the provision of PD05B was not robust enough.  Local support should be seen as a majority vote.  There had been no time for a Parish meeting as the information at this meeting was only provided recently.  It was unknown whether any further land representations had been put forward since January/February 2016.  It was agreed that this would be investigated.

Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05B.



Agreed, to endorse the proposed deletion of the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05B



Next Meeting

The next Local Plan Working Group meeting will be held on Tuesday, 19 July at 9.30am in the Function Room, Watton Sports Centre, Dereham Road, Watton.


The arrangements for the next meeting on Tuesday, 19 July at 9.30am in Watton were noted.