Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Dereham

Contact: Julie Britton 

Note: or immediately following Cabinet (whichever is the earlier) 

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 459 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 August 2014.


a)           Breckland Local Plan Issues and Options Document - Housing (Minute No. 12/14)


Councillor Borrett felt that further wording should be added to his point made in relation to affordable housing (7th paragraph) to read: “affordable housing should not be housing for those just on benefits it should also be for those in lower paid work and felt that the Council needed to look at the definition of what it called affordable”.


The Planning Policy Team Leader said that there was a definition and this would be picked further on the agenda.  Councillor Bambridge agreed but felt that it needed to be brought to the forefront.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris advised that the Council needed to be careful how affordable housing was defined.


b)           Minutes


Subject to the above, the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 August 2014 were agreed.



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 and must leave the room, for 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 they have in relation to an agenda item, that support the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.



Councillor Borrett declared an interest as a member of his family had some land on one of the maps attached to the agenda.



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 C Bowes, J North, G Bambridge, B Borrett, T Carter, A Joel, K Martin, M Nairn and M Robinson.



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





Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan (ANP) (Standing Item) (Agenda item 7)


The Deputy Planning Manager provided Members with an update from a meeting that he had attended with the Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group which had subsequently been divided into a number of sub-groups including one for Leisure, one for Economic Development, one for Health & Social Care and another for Education.


The Deputy Planning Manager asked that the following standing items be included on future agendas:


·        Neighbourhood Plans; and

·        Duty to Cooperate


This would ensure that any strategic issues that affected more than one authority could be discussed, and to ensure that there was no duplication of work.


Councillor Turner wanted to know if the Chairman of the Health & Social Care Sub-Group had liaised with Breckland Council as she felt that more joined up thinking was required when discussing leisure facilities in Attleborough.



Annual Monitoring Report (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Place).

Additional documents:


Councillor Kiddle-Morris presented the Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) covering the period from 1st April 2013 to 31 March 2014.  All local authorities were required to produce an AMR in conjunction with Section 35 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and Section 34 of the Town and Country Planning Regulations (Local Planning) 2012. 


The AMR uses the strategic themes as set out within the adopted Core Strategy and Development Control Policies (DPD) to report on the performance of policies.


The AMR had been divided into a number of chapters:


·        Housing, Employment and Regeneration

·        Natural Resources

·        Environment &Accessibility; and

·        Local Development Scheme


A brief summary of the headline information included within the AMR had been reproduced in the report for ease of reference.


Councillor Kiddle-Morris said that this report provided Members with a snapshot of the work carried out by the Planning Policy Team over the past year that contained a whole plethora of items that would be fed into the Local Plan.


The key findings were highlighted.  In relation to housing, Members were informed that 425 new dwellings had been completed in Breckland during the past year.  This amount remained below the 780 dwelling annual target set through the Core Strategy.  Of these 425 dwellings, 71 had been affordable; this equated to 17% of the total completed.  Members were asked to note that this referred to the dwellings completed on site rather than the level secured through planning permissions.


Local Authorities were required to produce a five year Land Supply Statement.  This Statement had been reported to the Planning Committee on 7th July 2014.  This year’s Statement highlighted the fact that Breckland did not have a five year supply of deliverable housing land and instead could only demonstrate a 3.29 year supply.


In relation to employment, over 15,000sqm of employment floorspace had been completed.  The floorspace had been completed across all employment B uses.  This had been a lower level of floorspace completions than in the previous two years; however, in both of these years there had been a significant proportion of B8 uses completed.  B8 uses referred to storage and distributions and therefore required significant retail warehouses.  For retail, surveys had been carried out within the town centres of each of the District’s market towns to review changes to use classes.    In the last year there had been an increase in town centre uses particularly in relation to A1; however, the level of increase, when considered cumulatively across the market towns had been relatively minor.


Referring to the completions, Councillor Borrett had been very surprised that only 35 new homes had been completed in Thetford in 2013/14 particularly as Thetford was one of the Council’s key priorities as far as new builds were concerned.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris advised that the 35 was most probably infill and reminded Members that 5,000 new homes had been passed as an outline planning application.  The first Reserved Matters applications for approximately 500 dwellings would be coming through by the end of this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21/14


Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Place).


Please note that Appendix D for the SHLAA study is large and it is not intended to be printed but will be made available electronically only.

Additional documents:


Breckland Council reviewed its first Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) in 2011.  This current review reflected the most up to date national planning policies and the land and property market conditions.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris was disappointed that the Suitability/Achievability Assessment at Appendix D had not been made available at the meeting but it had been included on the website.  In response, Members were informed that the link to this appendix was available within the agenda pack.


A presentation was provided.


Members were given a very detailed overview of the SHLAA by the Senior Planning Policy Officer following which attention was drawn to the assessment results on page 138 of the agenda.


It was pointed out that under the heading ‘Capacity by Settlement’ on page 139 of the agenda for Harling the figure was incorrect and it should read 643 not 6643.


Councillor Borrett thought that the SHLAA was a very broad document that had translated into some very interesting results. Breckland Council should not be a slave to the SHLAA and should only be used as a guide and if Members wanted to shape their communities they needed to be more proactive.  For example, each village could be allocated two dwellings for the Parish Council and residents to properly debate and he felt that something along these lines ought to be included in the Local Plan.  He also had concerns with the undeliverable land and drew attention to the map for Swanton Morley on page 180 of the agenda.  As far as he was concerned SW06 was undeliverable and the Parish Council did not want any development on SW01 or on SW08 and he was well aware that 50 dwellings had already been built on SW06 which was contrary to the last SHLAA.  As Members, he suggested that they should talk to their communities about where they wanted development in their villages and Members should take the lead on this instead of it being based on a book based study.


Councillor Bambridge pointed out that these policies should be Brecklandised and Members should turn their backs on national policy and start looking at what our smaller communities wanted.  On the issue of viability, he felt that it was only unviable due to the increase in land value.  What was needed was a very clear Breckland policy and he endorsed everything that Councillor Borrett had said.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris agreed with both and said that Members should take the SHLAA with a pinch of salt.  He referred to the next item on the agenda, the Local Plan Issues and Options document.  He was already going round his community informing people to consider the Local Plan in relation to how they wanted their villages to be shaped.  Councillor Bowes supported what had been said and felt that to call any village unsustainable was wrong as in her opinion if the village already existed then it was already sustainable.


Councillor Turner referred to the map for Shipdham on page 178 of the agenda.  She  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/14


Local Plan Issues & Options (Agenda item 10) pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Report by the Executive Director (Place).


This report covers updated sections from the previous LPWG meeting - Spatial Strategy, approach to Local Service Centres, Countryside and the Natural Environment.



Additional documents:


The Chairman informed Members that this report included an update of what happened at the previous meeting.


Councillor Kiddle-Morris said that Councillors Borrett and Bambridge would be pleased to note that this document now had a much more Breckland friendly approach.  He drew attention to pages 191 onwards highlighting sections 1.13 to 1.21 as he felt that the openings in these paragraphs provided more scope for the Local Plan going forward particularly in relation to settlement boundaries.


A presentation was provided (copy attached).


The Planning Policy Team Leader provided an update from the last session and highlighted the additional text that had been added at Members request (see slides attached).


The focus for this session included:


·        Spatial Strategy

·        Approach to service Centres and Countryside

·        Natural and Historic Environment; and

·        Open Space.


Members were asked to provide feedback on the draft Issues and Options paper particularly to the questions and options presented.


The last slide on land supply brought the emphasis back to the SHLAA capacity and commitments which could change through the call for sites; the Local Plan would address these issues going forward.


Councillor Borrett felt that the SHLAA should be looked at with a great deal of scepticism.  He was surprised to learn that a person would have the choice whether his/her land could be for commercial use or for housing.  Councillor Bambridge thought that this document was going some way to what was wanted in relation to settlement boundaries and felt that a greenbelt area should be put into operation rather than a settlement boundary.  In relation to dispersal, the Council should not forget about the A47.  The A47, in his opinion, could stand development and by diversifying the development the advantages this would bring to the district would be overwhelming.  He hoped that this document would be thrashed and hammered out via the Scrutiny process.  The Deputy Planning Manager advised that Breckland still had the problem of shortage of land supply particularly for Dereham.  Looking to the future was very difficult as the Council was not a master of its own destiny as it was governed by Government policy and Officers had to deal with evidence that was changing all the time.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris said that he was frustrated with the 5 year land supply and felt that it should be more, a lot of land was needed and the Council needed to be lobbying government as Breckland was now getting development where it was not wanted.


The Chairman queried section 5.2 of the document under the heading affordable housing and said that he was still not content with the definition.  Councillor Borrett agreed and felt that there should be a whole separate category factored into the Local Plan that sat next to affordable housing such as key workers or local housing or the covenant that he mentioned earlier in the meeting.  This could be one good reason for getting the 40% reduced by adding these other categories.  He also queried land for businesses and felt  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23/14


Next Meeting (Agenda item 11)

Please note that the next LPWG meeting will be held on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 at 10.00am in the Norfolk Room.


The arrangements for the next meeting on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 at 10.00am in the Norfolk Room were noted.


The Chairman thanked all the Members for attending and he asked they be added to the LPWG distribution list and be provided with paper copies prior to the meeting in future.