Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Dereham

Contact: Julie Britton 

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2014.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2014 were agreed as a correct record.


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.





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 North, Borrett, Duigan, Joel, Martin and Nairn.


Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 6)


As it was the last meeting of the Local Plan Working Group for 2014, the Chairman wished everyone present a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Neighbourhood Plans (Standing Item) (Agenda item 7)


The Deputy Planning Manager provided Members with an update on the Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan.


The Steering Group had had a successful sign up session event where a number of contact details had been collected and added to their database ahead of the community consultation.  The local press had also been involved and had offered to assist with articles as and when information was released.


The Employment Sub Group had been engaging with the LEP in regards to companies/businesses wishing to expand and what their needs were.


A draft report from Torkildsan Barclay, a Leisure & Sports Consultant who had been engaged by the Sub-Group for Leisure, would be available in due course.


The Neighbourhood Plan timetable for Attleborough was being finalised.


The Kenninghall Neighbourhood Plan area publication was open for comment/consultation until 22 December 2014 with a view for this to be confirmed by Cabinet in January 2015.


There was no update available in relation to the Croxton/Kilverstone & Brettenham Neighbourhood Plan for this meeting.


The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Planning had attended the Attleborough and Snetterton Business Breakfast.  He was concerned that there could be some duplication of work and felt that a Memorandum of Understanding needed to be finalised as all these various groups had employed consultants at great expense. A holistic approach for Attleborough was required.


Councillor Joel was concerned about many issues particularly about available funding and asked if there was any further money available from Government to assist with these Neighbourhood Plans.  The Chairman expected the answer would be no and it was the same across the country.  He reminded the Group that only £30k was available to support District Councils in covering the costs of support such as Examiners fees and holding referendums.  The Deputy Planning Manager advised that the Neighbourhood Plans Burdens Funding had been capped for a 5 Plans per year and the money coming through had been in staged payments based on the stage that a Neighbourhood Plan had reached in its preparation.  However, from the community side, communities had access to Locality Funding from Government.  He felt that the Council should be working creatively with parishes to help support them and gain best value from any consultants they may wish to engage.  The Chairman asked how parishes could apply for this community funding.  Members were informed that this would be in the form of a direct application from the community to Government via the website:


Councillor Martin agreed with the above comments and although a lot of work was being done, these community groups should work together so not to overlap.


Councillor Kiddle-Morris said that all these visions needed to get though the examination in public and felt that Breckland Council should be working with these communities to ensure that this happened.  The Chairman said that parishes needed to be aware of this Locality funding.  The Deputy Planning Manager agreed everyone needed to work in harmony and ensure integration between Neighbourhood Plans and the emerging Local Plan.


Duty to Cooperate (Standing item) (Agenda item 8)


Members were informed that there was a Norfolk-wide Duty to Co-operate Forum that met on a quarterly basis.  The last meeting had been held in October 2014.  A factual document that brought all the Local Plan information together was due to be finalised shortly and would be available to Members in January 2015.  This document would help frame the work programme and discussion for key strategic planning issues between Local Authorities.  The Group currently operated on an informal basis and Councillor Kiddle-Morris was the Chair.  At the next meeting there would be a paper that looked at a range of options for each authority to consider and bring back ensuring that appropriate mechanisms were used for cooperation.  A further project considered at the meeting was looking at the recreational impact on developments across Norfolk on European sites.  It was also about bringing together all Norfolk authorities to understand what needed to be done in terms of Local Plans being produced at different times across the County.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris pointed out that there was a question in Breckland’s Local Plan document about whether the Plan should go to 2036 or 2031.  If it was 2036 all authorities would be able to work together.  Councillor Duigan asked if the Duty to Cooperate had any real teeth in relation to housing figures.  Members were informed that some Local Plans were being found unsound as the Duty to Co-operate had not been demonstrated.   The Deputy Planning Manager explained that the Duty to Cooperate was a legal test of soundness for Local Plans to pass and it was vitally important to have discussions with other authorities.  He pointed out that useful dialogue/discussions had been held and a new Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) was now being prepared across five Norfolk authorities.  Councillor Duigan asked when the new SHMA would be available as he felt that Breckland Council may have to look at its housing numbers differently.


The Chairman mentioned the fact that Planning Committee repeatedly received comments about the lack of the 5 year land supply and he asked if this should be more widely spread.  The Deputy Planning Manager explained that the five years supply had been based on Breckland’s housing figures and these had to be delivered based on the numbers identified for Breckland.  Councillor North presumed that all authorities were in the same position.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris stated that the deficit appeared when development did not materialise on deliverable land.  He assured Members that in 2016 a five year land supply would be identified through the Council’s new Local Plan.


Councillor Borrett had major concerns with the issue of the 5 year land supply and felt that Breckland Council needed a mitigation plan to explain to the people as it was the Government that was at fault.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris stated that this was the regulations, the criteria in the Local Development Framework was to identify a 5 year deliverable land supply.  Breckland Council was not building enough housing which had caused a backlog;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38/14


Breckland Retail Study 2014 (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.


Due to its size, Appendix A is attached as a separate document.

Additional documents:


As part of the updating evidence base required to inform the emerging Local Plan, the Council had commissioned Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) to produce a comprehensive update to the 2010 Retail Study.  The Breckland Retail Study document was attached at appendix A of the agenda.


Councillor Kiddle-Morris thought that the Breckland Retail Study was a very interesting document; however, it did not paint a very good picture going forward.  It was felt that it was a valuable marketing tool for businesses wanting to relocate to the District and, although he had many questions, it was, in his opinion, a very good report.


The Planning Policy Team Leader pointed out that the report had considered the available capacity and in essence it sought to provide evidence in the planning process.  It was important for the Local Plan to demonstrate how the needs for retail and main town centre uses were met.  The full summary was contained in the LPWG report; however, it should be noted that longer term capacity forecasts (beyond 2026) should be monitored and reviewed.


The Planning Policy Officer Team Leader then introduced the report in detail.


Councillor Borrett mentioned the Dereham town centre plan which had just been given permission for a new supermarket and felt that it would have a detrimental affect on the town centre.  He asked if this document would be hijacked by the submission of planning permissions coming in.  Members were informed that the report provided evidence and supported the options in the Issues and Options Local Plan consultation document for setting a lower threshold for impact assessments based on local evidence, which future applicants would have to take into account if this became policy.  Currently, the adopted Plan relied on the national default threshold over 2,500sqm.  The aim of the document was to provide evidence first to support the town centres.  Councillor Borrett asked if these impact assessments included traffic assessments.  Members were informed that it would not; all the document looked at was capacity for growth.  Another question asked was the amount of charity shops that town centres had, yet the document predicted that more should be provided.  The Chairman drew attention to the table within the report that highlighted the percentage of charity shops in each of the towns.


Councillor Duigan pointed out a potential error in the document in relation to the Inland Revenue building in Dereham that said it had been turned into residential.  This was not the case and clearly had been confused with the nearby former library site.  He was disappointed that there had been no mention of the proposed development in Norwich Street or the development on Yaxham Road.  He was also disappointed that there was no mention of banks or estate agents and felt that the report was fairly limited in information as it was these types of services that local people needed to access and felt that the definition of retail was not appropriate.  Referring to Councillor Borrett’s point in relation to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39/14