Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Gallery Bar, Watton Sports Association, Dereham Rd, Watton, Thetford. IP25 6EZ

Contact: Julie Britton 

No. Item




The Chairman advised that this meeting would be where the Members of the Local Plan Working Group would have the opportunity to assess the comments made from the consultation responses and public speaking would also be accommodated.  An additional meeting would be arranged to consider the final version of the Local Plan prior to it being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. Both statutory consultees and members of the public have had the opportunity during the consultation process to submit their comments and a further opportunity would be had in the early summer 2017 following submission.


Following introductions the meeting commenced.



Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 August 2016.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 August 2016 were agreed as a correct record.



Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive any apologies for absence.


Councillor Mark Robinson.



Declarations of Interest (Agenda item 3)

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 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 Marion Chapman-Allen, Paul Claussen, Paul Darby, Phillip Duigan, Adrian Joel and Mike Nairn.



Chairman's Announcements (if any) (Agenda item 6)





Duty to Cooperate (Standing item) (Agenda item 7)

Verbal update by the Strategic Planning Manager.


Phil Mileham, the Strategic Planning Manager provided Members with a brief update on the Duty to Cooperate.  Meetings had taken place with Forest Heath District Council and Historic England to discuss the preferred sites and settlement boundaries consultation responses document.  Work was still on-going in relation to the Norfolk Strategic Framework document and the next Member meeting had been arranged in February 2017.



Breckland Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Growth.


See supplement for the appendix to this report.

Additional documents:


Stephen Ottewell, the Director of Planning & Building Control (Capita), presented the updated Breckland Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment report.


On 31 August 2015, the Government published the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS) and introduced an amendment to the definition of Gypsy and Traveller for planning purposes.  The PPTS required local authorities to undertake this assessment to determine whether households living on sites, encampments and in bricks and mortar fell within the new definition of a gypsy, traveller or travelling show- person.  Only if they fell within this new definition would their housing needs need to be assessed separately from the wider population.  The key change was that persons who had ceased to travel permanently for work purposes no longer fell under the planning definition of a “Traveller” and as the Planning and Housing Act 2016 repealed the previous statutory definition included in the Housing Act 2004, the PPTS was now the sole definition.


A Study had been commissioned and had been overseen by the Housing Strategy and Planning Policy Team and work commenced in the summer of 2016 with the final report being completed in October 2016.  A copy of the complete Study had been attached at Appendix A to the report and a summary of the findings could be found at section 3.


The key findings had highlighted the additional need for gypsy and traveller pitches in Breckland between 2016 and 2036.


The Chairman had already spoken with the Officers concerned and it had been agreed that this and other evidence would be open for comment along with the publication of the draft Plan later in 2017.


Referring to the ‘transit’ requirements, unauthorised encampments, Councillor Duigan pointed out that these unofficial sites caused a great deal of upset to local residents and asked if the Council had any solution to these issues.  The Chairman advised that this would be discussed in a different forum and suggested that this matter be brought to the attention with the appropriate Officers of the Council.  The Director of Planning & Building Control (Capita) explained that the Local Plan ‘door’ needed to be left open so that these matters could be responded to accordingly.  In response to a question about when Mill Farm had been visited, Members were asked to refer to Appendix C of the report.  Councillor Claussen felt that this assessment required further debate as well as a closer dialogue with the travelling community.  The Chairman assured Members that this would be looked at again in due course.  Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen wanted to know what the Director of Planning & Building Control (Capita) meant by leaving the Local Plan ‘door’ open.  It was confirmed that this meant that the nature of the policies within the Local Plan had to allow for additional work to be achieved to address any issues not addressed in the Local Plan itself; the Council had to make a commitment that the need relating to provision would be met.


RESOLVED that the contents of the Gypsy & Traveller Accommodation Assessment  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70/16


Local Plan Preferred Site Options and Settlement Boundaries Consultation Responses and Progress Report (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Growth.


See supplement for the appendix to this report.


Additional documents:


The Director of Planning & Building Control (Capita) presented the report.  A presentation was also provided.


The third consultation on the Local Plan had taken place over a 6 week period from 19th September to 31 October 2016.  During the consultation over 1,100 comments had been received on the interim consultation document and a further 28 comments on the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal.  The majority of comments had focused on the housing distribution and allocation, the approach to rural areas and the settlements of Dereham, Garboldisham, Mattishall and Yaxham. A summary of the comments and Officers responses had been attached at Appendix A of the report.  The strongest objections received had been in relation to Dereham particularly in relation to the Transport Study, Swanton Morley, as a Local Service Centre, had requested additional development subject to certain conditions and Ashill Parish Council had not objected to being classified as a Local Service Centre (LSC) but were seeking an alternative allocation of sites to the ones proposed.  As far as Beetley and Hockham were concerned further sites had been identified within the Settlement Boundary which they had asked to be included.


Members were asked to focus on the points being raised and how to shape the way forward in relation to the key issues.


In response to a concern, Members were informed that Officers were confident that the updated Water Cycle Study would be available in a timely fashion to inform the publication of the Local Plan. 


Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen once again highlighted the fact how bitterly disappointed Garboldisham Parish Council had been in being designated as a LSC as the parish, as stated on a number of occasions,  did not meet the necessary criteria.  Over 70 residents had attended a meeting in the village and over 50 had submitted comments but nowhere within the consultation did she recall a question asking whether villages wanted to become a LSC and she asked the Working Group to re-consider the designation.


Councillor Joel queried the figures for the housing numbers in Old Buckenham as the arbitrary figure of 50 homes (a one size fits all figure) should not be applied in this case.


Councillor Claussen mentioned Yaxham and its proposed LSC status; there had been a huge amount of public interest which Officers had not listened as the criteria had not been corrected.  This, in his opinion, seemed to be just a ‘tick box’ exercise and was totally unjustified and unfair for Yaxham.  The Chairman assured Members that the questions had been asked and Yaxham did comply with the necessary criteria.  Referring to the school, Tim Mills, the Executive Manager for Growth pointed out that Norfolk County Council’s view was that there was adequate capacity at the school in Yaxham. Members asked that this be put in writing.  Ian Martin representative for Yaxham’s Neighbourhood Plan pointed out that Norfolk County Council was not the admissions authority for the school, the Church was.  He also mentioned the housing numbers for the village and the fact  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71/16


Annual Monitoring Report 2015/2016 (Agenda item 10) pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Growth.


See supplement for the appendix to this report.


Additional documents:


The Director of Planning & Building Control (Capita) presented the report and explained the requirements and highlighted the key findings.  The recommendation requested Members agreement to publish the Annual Monitoring Report on the Council’s website.


Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen thought that the document was a very interesting read.


It was noted that page 21 of the document would be updated prior to publication.  In response to a concern, Officers agreed to look into the reason why Solar Farm in Kenninghall had not been included in the document.


RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted and the Annual Monitoring Report be published on the Council’s website.


The Chairman thanked all the Officers involved for attending the meeting and for preparing all the documentation.