Harling: Kenninghall Road:proposed Residential Development for Heritage Developments Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2010/0596/F (AGENDA ITEM 9)
Report of the Chief Executive.
This application for 40 dwellings on land at the edge of Harling raised issues relating to planning policy and impact on the character of the surrounding area.
Members were shown a slightly revised plan showing two areas of Open Space.
The site was outside the Settlement Boundary. In light of the Council’s housing land shortfall, it was therefore assessed against criteria in PPS 3 and performed quite well. However, Harling had an allocation of 50 houses under the Spatial Strategy of which 25 had already been granted. A further 40 would exceed the allocation.
Other concerns included the housing mix; more large family units were needed, but this could be negotiated; and Norfolk Landscape Archaeology required additional information.
Impact on the character of the area was considered to be minimal and the layout worked well. The proposed second area of Open Space was not well overlooked and was not ideal for appearance or supervision.
No recommendation had been made due to outstanding detailed matters. However, the scheme had much to recommend it. Members’ views were sought on the principle of the development. If Members supported the scheme it was suggested that the application be deferred to allow further negotiations.
Mr Bartram, for the Applicant, said that local people were in favour of the site. Referring to the housing allocation for Harling he said that the Core Strategy did not state an upper limit. With regard to deliverability, the applicant was keen to start work as soon as possible and six affordable houses could be available within twelve months. The second area of Open Space would fit well if future development were to take place.
Lady Fisher, Ward Representative, was concerned that with other windfall sites and a further pending application, as many as 120 extra dwellings could be built in Harling, more than doubling the amount required. Development on the site would ‘land lock’ the school. It was a long way from the facilities in the village and she asked Members to give consideration to the infrastructure and to reconsider the number of dwellings.
A Member pointed out that the local people supported the proposal and that the Parish Council had voted unanimously in favour of it; it had been their preferred site and they were keen to have the social housing.
Another Member could not understand why the Parish Council supported the application when they had agreed to the housing allocation. He said that the application broke all the Policies the Council stood by and that every developer was using the Housing Land supply shortage to support their schemes outside Settlement Boundaries.
The Principal Planning Policy Officer explained that the Core Strategy process had allocated 50 dwellings for Harling, over the next 15 years. Those figures were ‘floors’ not ‘ceilings’ and that it was always accepted that other windfall sites would contribute more. Due to the housing land shortage the Council was required to consider sites that met the criteria of PPS 3 for housing.
The Development Services Manager also clarified that through the Site Specifics process the application site had been identified as the preferred site for the village.
The Principal Housing Officer (Strategy and Enabling) was asked to update Members on the housing need in the village. She advised that there were currently 276 on the waiting list including 150 families with children and 81 single people.
Members then debated the following issues: housing need, the LDF allocation, village infrastructure and school capacity.
RESOLVED to defer the application and advise the applicant that Members were minded to approve the application subject to amendments to design and layout.