Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Town Hall, Queens Square, Attleborough

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.






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 Marion Chapman-Allen, Philip Cowen and Adrian Joel.



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


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that this meeting was an information gathering exercise and that the discussions today were only part of the process preparing the Local Plan for formal consultation which would take place later in the year.  Parish Councils and members of the public would have the opportunity to comment on the document during the six weeks of formal consultation.


It was noted that agenda item 8 would be discussed under Agenda item 6.



Preferred Sites (Agenda item 6)


Stephen Otterwell (SO) the Director of Planning & Building Control, Capita stated that the detailed presentation being provided would afford everyone with a little more understanding.  Feedback would be welcomed on any issue.


Very careful consideration had been given to Attleborough in relation to the delivery of the sustainable urban extension (SUE).  The SUEs within Attleborough and Thetford were not expected to be delivered in their entirety within the Plan period, with delivery expected to continue beyond 2036 (3,100 dwellings beyond 2036 in total) or broadly 20% of the overall housing target of 14,925 between 2011 and 2036.  As a consequence, it had been necessary to identify additional housing to ensure that the objectively-assessed housing need was provided for over the Plan period. The proposed allocation percentages were set out at paragraph 1.16 of the report.


Referring to the preferred and alternative sites report, all sites had been re-appraised and re-visited.  Alternative sites could be delivered but would eventually drop out of the process if the preferred site was submitted.  There was still a long way to go and at these meetings Officers and Members wanted to know if the right choices were being made.




Banham pdf icon PDF 532 KB

Additional documents:


A supplementary agenda that included replacement maps had been published and circulated at the meeting.


The Ward Member, Councillor Adrian Joel was in attendance.


Banham had a revised allocation of 55 units that focused on three sites one of which was the preferred site 003 which was green-field agricultural land of grade 2 quality.  The constraints were highlighted.  Norfolk County Council Highways had raised no objections subject to a suitable access being provided.  The Parish Council had raised concerns about the increase in traffic.


The alternative sites were highlighted.  Comments had been received from the Parish Council in relation to 004 with regard to flooding and 005 had residential housing located to the south and was close to a Grade 2 Listed Building.


The Ward Member, Councillor Adrian Joel asked if the 43 dwellings to be built near the Zoo had been taken into consideration and also whether the southern boundary would have to be changed.  SO advised that the Settlement Boundary would have to incorporate any planning permissions and had been included in the baseline figures.  A Banham representative understood that the village had an allocation of 55 units and asked what the intention was to make up that shortfall.  Members were informed that the figures would have to be adjusted if just the preferred site was chosen, the remainder would have to be shared in other areas.  In response to a question, it was noted that sites 003 and 009 were classed as protected open space.


Agreed that the preferred site and the two alternative sites be endorsed.


Employment Attleborough pdf icon PDF 888 KB

Additional documents:


In terms of employment, 10 hectares of land had been allocated in the Neighbourhood Plan (NHP) for Attleborough and was subject to consultation until 17 August 2016.  The Town Council’s work on the NHP was still on-going.  The Local Plan would provide the context.  In terms of the housing site this was the same site identified under the sustainable urban extension (SUE) and there was a commitment to get that site underway.  It was anticipated that 53 dwellings per annum would be delivered which was considered to be a fair and reasonable assumption; this site would not be included again in this round of consultation.  No additional allocations would be incorporated.  Attention was drawn to the green hatched area on the plan which included the employment sites with planning permission and would be included - amendments to the Settlement Boundary would have to take place.  The Chairman wanted to know where the Council was in terms of employment levels.  SO explained that the evolution of the Local Plan continued as earlier in the year during the January and February consultation PD06 was looking at 67 hectares of employment land overall. Ten hectares had been identified for Attleborough; nine hectares had been identified for Swaffham and six for Dereham. 


Mr Betts of Great Ellingham Parish Council mentioned the effect that the link road would have on other roads and was concerned that the traffic would end up using the village as a short cut.  SO said that he would pass any concerns onto Highways.  Mr Cracknell, representing himself, Old Buckenham Parish Council and the Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan said that most people had suggested option 3 as the preferred route for the link road and if this option did not receive the necessary funding a great deal of time and money would have been wasted.  He pointed out that on the London Road towards Snetterton there was originally a proposed Taylor Wimpey development for part housing and part employment; this had since been changed to a school and the employment land had been switched further west near Victory Park.  Not a great deal of discussion had taken place in relation to this change and he felt that this was not the type of partnership regime that everyone had expected.  Mr Cracknell did not want to see changes imposed at such short notice everyone should be working as a team.  Attention was drawn to the area coloured purple on the plan which identified the ten hectares of employment land. Phil Mileham, the Strategic Planning Manager explained that the issue was in relation to sites already with planning permission, the ten hectares was on top of the undeveloped employment land already committed. Mr Cracknell felt that Norfolk County Council Highways had not addressed the traffic movements in the town.  Councillor Bambridge asked if option 3 was dependable.  Members were informed that there had originally been eleven different options for the preferred link road and in 2013 a report was taken to a Breckland  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49/16b


Employment Snetterton pdf icon PDF 615 KB

Additional documents:


SO provided the meeting with an all sites overview.  The preferred, alternative and reasonable sites were highlighted.  Altogether, 20 hectares of employment land was proposed for Snetterton to ensure that employment provision would be spread over different areas.  Eight hectares had been allocated on one of the preferred sites 009 which was located to the north east and benefited from existing planning permission.  It was important to note; however, that 009 had been taken out of general employment use.  Twenty hectares had been allocated to site 010 the current land use was highlighted.  Councillor Cowen pointed out that the amount of proposed employment land in Snetterton should be able to exceed the 20 hectares target and was a problem that needed to be addressed and he urged the Council to take the lead before the land was developed anyway.  He was surprised that the Power Station was not shown on the Plan.  It was on site 004 which he asked to be crosshatched accordingly.  The employment site would be highly visible from both sides of the community and no-one seemed to be looking at how to protect the residential development and he felt that Breckland Council should look beyond the employment area and consider the consequences of what all this development might have on surrounding businesses such as the World Horse Welfare Organisation.  All this development must have some form of planning guidance behind it as this area was considered to be the gateway to Norfolk.  It was vitally important and Breckland Council needed to be saying far more as to how it wanted it developed.  He urged the Council to be more pro-active and generate the right level of interest as, in his opinion, there was potential to do more for the benefit of everyone.  Councillor Cowen also felt that more use could be made of the rail head.  The Chairman asked if more employment land could be allocated.  SO said that no-one should be bound to a figure but there was a balance to be struck and there was some flexibility in relation to land uses.  PM advised that there were some parcels of land that had existing lawful uses that could be subject to change but the amount of land must be kept broadly in line with the 20 hectares but if there was a drive to bring a couple of hectares into the mix this would not cause a problem.  Councillor Cowen was pleased to hear that as he would not like to see the Local Plan constrained if an employer came and asked the Council for 25 hectares.  SO explained that the wording in the Policy would be critical and these suggestions could be included in the interim consultation.  In response to a question the meeting was informed that the permissions for 009 were B1 and B2.  Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen was concerned about constraints and felt that another site should be brought in on the other side.  His preferred sites were 011 and 012.  PM  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49/16c


Garboldisham pdf icon PDF 409 KB

Additional documents:


A paper from Garboldisham Parish Council was circulated for information.


A Parish Council representative questioned two of the criteria in relation to the proposal of making Garboldisham a Local Service Centre (LSC) namely public transport and employment.  The bus service was heavily subsidised by Suffolk County Council and if this subsidy was withdrawn it would be Norfolk County Council’s responsibility to take it on.


The Chairman asked what their approach was to having some growth in the village over a period of 20 years.  He mentioned Yaxham Parish Council’s employment issues which was of a similar vain to the transport issues in Garboldisham; however, the Members of the Local Plan Working Group had agreed to keep Yaxham as a LSC and he did not believe that this would be an issue for Garboldisham.  He asked Officers about the cross-authority bus.  SO stated that this had already been taken in to consideration. 


The Parish Council representative wanted to know if LSC status would be maintained.  Councillor Bambridge advised that Bawdeswell had been designated as a LSC and the bus service route was no-where in Breckland.  Councillor Robinson felt that the Council must be consistent in its approach and Garboldisham did meet three of the criteria.  The Chairman asked if this was worth revisiting as Garboldisham was in the same position as Yaxham. 


The site allocations were highlighted and Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen felt that with all the Norfolk County Council Highways objections put the sites selected in a very different light and suggested that the village should be put forward as a constrained LSC.


SO provided the meeting with an explanation on the three sites selected.  The preferred site could deliver 37 units; however, Highways were not happy to include this as the preferred site in the Local Plan, although further comments from Norfolk County Council Highways department were expected soon.


Councillor Bambridge pointed out that site 002 had been discounted by the Council but this was the one that local people thought most suitable.  A Garboldisham Parish Council representative advised that the site was classed as grade 4 agricultural land and had a proven access as the site was once a Garden Centre situated on a straight piece of road and there were footpaths leading from it into the village.  The only disadvantage was that the site was outside of the Settlement Boundary.  This site had been derelict for over 7 years and would benefit from re-development.  Referring to the preferred site, the representative pointed out that not only did it have Highways objecting to it, it was also located on a very dangerous junction; the same referred to site 009.  Sites 003 and 010 were along single track roads and also had a dangerous junction; as for 001, the Parish Council did not have any objections to this site being developed.  004 and 005 would be within the Settlement Boundary but would not support 35 dwellings.  006 did have a better access but again was on a single track road  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49/16d


Great Ellingham pdf icon PDF 632 KB

Additional documents:


A significant number of sites had been proposed for Great Ellingham but had since been reduced to three.  The constraints were highlighted for the preferred sites 004 and 019, Norfolk County Council had raised no objections.  019 was significantly bigger and had the capacity of 208 dwellings; however, the scope of that would be reduced.  It was noted that 019 was the Parish Council’s preferred site.  The alternative sites were much smaller and according to the Parish Council should be focused on development for older people.  016 had known constraints and the Parish Council was not in support of this site being developed.


Mr Betts from Great Ellingham Parish Council asked for the number of dwellings to be clarified – was he correct in thinking that they had been reduced to 40 instead of 170.   SO said the figure of 40 was correct.  Mr Betts then highlighted a number of sites and explained that the Parish had real concerns with sites 016 and 020.  The Ward Member, Councillor Cowen was pleased with the reduction; however, site 016 had been recommended for approval by Officers but overturned by Members and an Appeal had been launched. In response to a question, the Ward Member was correct in presuming that Great Ellingham would not see any further development if the Appeal was upheld. 


It was agreed that:


1.    all sites as listed to go forward for consultation; and

2.    site 015 be upgraded as the preferred site.


Kenninghall pdf icon PDF 402 KB

Additional documents:


Members were provided with a brief introduction on the requirement for 35 dwellings on a choice of five sites, one of which was the preferred site 003.  003 measured 0.6 hectares which could deliver 12 units.  The known constraints were listed.  008 measured 3.6 hectares and had the capacity to include 72 units. 004 was a very small alternative site that had the capacity of 9 units.  The Parish Council had voted against 005 being developed and site 010 had received no comments from the Parish Council.  Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen said that Kenninghall was within her Ward and she did contact the Parish Council but had heard nothing.


Agreed that the preferred and alternative sites be endorsed.


Old Buckenham pdf icon PDF 512 KB

Additional documents:


Old Buckenham had a revised interim allocation of 50 dwellings.  Just one preferred site had been identified as site no.014 which had the capacity of 20 units.  This site only came forward in January so it had not been subject to much consultation.  SO was interested to hear views from the room.


Sarah Hornbrook, on behalf of Ingletonwood, Breckland Bridge Ltd and Old Buckenham Parish Council was in attendance and pointed out that the Parish Council had not had the opportunity to consider the revised allocation.  There were many concerns in relation to infrastructure and whether the village would be able to cope with that level of growth.   A number of the findings, in her opinion, were questionable and she emphasised that public transport was diabolical and employment was non-existent.  The Chairman reminded the representative that just 20 units were being recommended which, in his opinion, over a 20 year period was not too much to take on.  He asked if she had any comments to make on the other sites.  It was noted that 014 was the most logical and best site.  Councillor Joel, the Ward Member for Old Buckenham pointed out that Cotman Housing was looking to build on a site that was capable of 12 dwellings.  This site would be ideal.  Councillor Bambridge reminded everyone that this was a Plan that was being prepared for the next 20 years and he was not sure that 20 units were going to be enough over that period of time.  He asked whether Policy PD05A or B would apply for this area.  Councillor Cowen felt that if site 014 came forward all dwellings built on it would belong to Cotman Housing.  SO advised that 50 had been the original number for good sound planning reasons but finding other sites in the area had proved difficult. In response to the latter, it was noted that Officers could prepare some Policy wording to address situations where inadequate number of sites could be found for allocation.  PM suggested leaving 50 units in the Local Plan and leaving the balance of 30 to be thrashed out in the Neighbourhood Plan.  Mrs Hornbrook stated that the Neighbourhood Plan had not as yet been completed therefore it would be quite difficult to know whether 50 units would be supported. Councillor Joel highlighted the fact that over 1000 pupils passed through the village to school and he could not imagine the traffic chaos and the road safety issues.  The Chairman clarified to the representative that although the housing allocation was 50 Old Buckenham could only accommodate 20 and retracted his aforementioned comment.  Councillor Robinson realised the constraints and the large footprint that the village had.  Councillor Joel pointed out that the Neighbourhood Plan could not have a lesser amount of allocations in the Local Plan and asked if there was any way that this could be changed.  SO advised that the Neighbourhood Plan could look at identifying further sites and there was already policy wording to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49/16g


Necton (addtional item)


The Parish Council had made detailed representations following the second Local Plan Working Group meeting held in Swaffham on 12 July 2016 where it had been agreed to defer any decision on the preferred site subject to further discussion (Minute No. 24/16 (c) refers).  Sarah Robertson, Planning Policy Officer, Capita advised that she, together with her colleague Martin Pendlebury, the Principal Planning Policy Officer had recently attended a meeting with Necton Parish Clerk. The Parish Council had not been at all happy with the preferred site but would rather have a smaller amount of development come forward across three other sites.  It was considered reasonable to change the preferred site 005 to an alternative site and put 007, 010 and 011 forward as preferred.  Following further debate, it was


Agreed that:


1.    003 and 004 remain as alternative sites;

2.    005 now be put forward as an alternative site instead of preferred; and

3.    007 be put forward as the preferred site.


The Chairman felt that it was important to show fairness across the District.  SO advised that the same would be offered to others and would be addressed at a further ‘wash up’ session.


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

·         Besthorpe

·         New Buckenham

·         North Lopham

·         Quidenham

·         Snetterton

·         Shropham

·         Rocklands


SO explained the policy approach in relation to settlement boundaries.  Policy PD05 had been split into two parts; A and B.  PD05A applied to settlements that met three out of five of the service facilities identified in paragraph 1.6 of the report (published on 4 July 2016).  Those villages could have development within their revised Settlement Boundary and appropriate development immediately adjacent to the Settlement Boundary or no more than five, or not more than 10% of the existing number of dwellings.  Other key policy requirements would still apply.


PD05B would apply to the smaller villages that had two or fewer of the service facilities identified in paragraph 1.6 of the report published on 4 July 2016.  Those villages would have no Settlement Boundary, but small amounts of development could be permitted if they had local support.



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


New Buckenham

The Ward Member, Councillor Joel was strongly against the removal of the Settlement Boundary.  Councillor Bambridge advised that taking away the ‘red line’ would allow the Parish more control under Policy PD05B.  Councillor Cowen suspected the audit data was incorrect as New Buckenham did have a bus service and community facilities.  It was agreed that the audit would be updated.

Agreed not to endorse the preferred option but the Settlement Boundary be retained in line with Policy PD05A.


North Lopham

Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen advised that the Parish Council was in agreement with the recommendation.

Agreed to endorse the amendment to the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05A.



Agreed to endorse the amendment to the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05A.



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



The Chairman of the Parish Council was in attendance.  The audit was queried as it had been found that the total number of services in the village was three meaning Policy PD05A would apply.  Mr Napier advised that the Parish Council had not had an opportunity to consider the said Policy.  Councillor Cowen explained that Shropham was a very active community that did want to see some growth.

Agreed not to endorse the preferred option but the Settlement Boundary be retained in line with Policy PD05A.



A representative from Rocklands stated that the preferred option was much in line with what the village had hoped and expected.  Councillor Cowen as Ward Member, endorsed the above comments.

Agreed to endorse the amendment to the Settlement Boundary in line with Policy PD05A.


Site Allocations for the following parishes (Agenda item 8)

·         Attleborough

·         Old Buckenham

·         Banham

·         Kenninghall

·         Garboldisham

·         Snetterton

·         Gt Ellingham


This item had been discussed under Agenda item 6.


Additional item (Agenda item 9)


At the first Local Plan Working Group meeting on 11 July 2016 the following recommendations had only been noted and not endorsed:


1.    the changes to the list of Local Service Centres within PD03 to reflect the changes as set out in paragraph 1.9 of the report; and

2.    the proposed level of allocations contained at Appendix 2 of the report.


RESOLVED that the changes to the list of Local Service Centres within PD03 to reflect the changes as set out in paragraph 1.9 of the report be endorsed.


Referring to the recommendation that had been endorsed in relation to Policy PD05, Councillor Bambridge thought that Policy PD05B was going to be altered in relation to the following criteria: development within a closely knit cluster of 10 or more existing dwellings adjacent to or fronting an existing highway as he felt that villages could have difficulty in applying that. He felt that the wording should be reconsidered for those without a Settlement Boundary - taking out the figure 10 or slightly altering the wording would be sufficient.  Mr Napier felt that it would be enormously helpful if the definition of both was sent round to all parishes once it had been ratified.  PM explained that PD05A and PD05B would be going out to public consultation again in September and would be brought into one single coherent document.


Councillor Cowen highlighted the issue in relation to Hockham that could have an impact on numbers and, unfortunately, a meeting had not been had with Caston Parish Council.  SO advised that he had been in contact with Caston Parish Council and they had been content with the proposal.


The Chairman felt that an additional meeting should be arranged.  He was unsure what level of change could be made at the Cabinet meeting on 30 August and suggested having a ‘wash up’ meeting prior to Cabinet.  PM agreed a further final wash up session could be arranged.  SO also agreed such a meeting would be good to tie up any loose ends.