Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications :


Item No



Page No


Trustees BPP Pension Fund




Mr J Newboult




Banham Group Ltd




Azur Solar Systems Ltd




Mr Trevor Whitmore




Dereham Town Council




Mr Mark Monk - MPH




Co-Dunkall Limited




South Pickenham Estate Company

South Pickenham



Mr Lawrence Cook




Rev Richardson




Beres Developments Ltd





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows :-


(a)       Item 1 : Wretham : Middle Farm : Demolition & redevelopment of poultry farm & manager’s dwelling, together with road improvements (Revised Appn) for Trustees BPP Pension Fund : Reference : 3PL/2007/1606/F


Item 1 and Item 3 were considered together.


Proposals had been submitted to rationalise Banham Poultry’s chicken rearing operations at Wretham Heath.  It would involve the consolidation of production into 3 farms and the removal of 3 others.  The application proposed the erection of 8 new poultry units to replace 6 existing sheds at Middle Farm.  The new buildings would provide a combined floor space of 14,711m2 and a total capacity of 316,800 birds.  An additional 8 poultry units are proposed at Middle Farm under application 3PL/2011/0402/F, together with another 4 poultry units at Sawpit Farm nearby.  Three other farms would be removed, whilst one other would continue production in its current form.  A new farm worker’s dwelling was also proposed.


The application site was located outside the 1500m buffer zone to the SPA, but within the 1500m buffer zone of known nesting sites.  Extensive discussions had taken place, and there would not be a negative impact on stone curlews due to the removal of buildings.  There would be a 15% reduction in the built footprint, and in addition, farms proposed to be removed, offered opportunities for habitat to be created where none currently existed.


Ammonia emissions were already at a high level, but levels would vary.  At Wretham Heath they would increase and Natural England had stated this was not acceptable and that mitigation measures must be incorporated in the scheme.  Although the Applicants had been working on the measures, further work was still required, therefore full results were not available.  Both applications were recommended for approval subject to that work being completed.


A number of objections from local residents had been received.  The Environmental Health Officers were content there would be no significant adverse affect on neighbours but they proposed some measures as detailed in the report.  Highways raised no objection but asked for a routing agreement with regard to Middle Farm, and this was shown on the plan.


It was noted that both reports referred to a 50-week rearing cycle with 2.8 movements a week, but should read a 50-day rearing cycle with 2.8 movements a day.  Traffic levels were still not believed to be significant.


Mr White, Parish Council, stated that Wretham Parish Council had no objection to Sawpit Farm but did have reservations with Middle Farm and expressed disappointment with regard to the drainage of houses on the farm.  Their main concern as noted in the report, was of vehicular access to Middle Farm, as routing would bring numerous lorry movements and increase the hazardous risk for residential use.


Mr Waterson, Banham Poultry’s Project Manager and Agent, provided some company background.  The application had been made as the company had been chosen by Morrisons to supply chickens.  Environmental and wildlife benefits were included in the new development.  Everything had been moved away from the stone curlew buffer zone.  It was estimated that the build programme would take 12 months.


Mr Edwards, Agent, stated that the issue of odour had been considered, but there would be no significant impact on neighbouring properties.  At different sites, the Applicant had been running different ammonia trials, and the Environment Agency had now accepted that emissions would be less than as stated in the Application.


Phasing in was important with regard to the ecological impact and amenity, and would be subject to planning conditions.  If Members were minded to approve the applications, detailed work would follow to ensure new buildings were not erected before the old ones were removed.  The routing agreement was the proposed solution by Norfolk County Council and not the Applicant.


Deferred, and, subject to satisfactory


(i)         Confirmation by Natural England of satisfactory arrangements for ammonia emission control

(ii)        Justification of need for the new dwellings in respect of PPS7, and

(iii)       Confirmation by Environment Agency that the acquifer will be adequately protected,


Then the Officers be authorised to grant permission after completion of the S106 Agreement (including routing and phasing of the demolition and restorations of land) with suitable conditions


(b)       Item 2 : Mundford : 60-62 Malsters Close (Plot A & B) : Erection of two detached houses with integral garages & parking spaces off a private drive for Mr J Newboult : Reference : 3PL/2011/0192/O


The application sought outline planning permission including access, layout and scale to construct two detached two storey four bedroom dwellings with attached garages to the north of 62 Malsters Close and west of 60 Malsters Close.  A garage is provided with each dwelling with one parking space shown in front of each garage.  Access would be off Malsters Close.


The site was within Flood Zones 2 and 3 and within the Stone Curlew buffer zone.  The Environment Agency had been consulted and they considered the flood risk was acceptable in this instance.   


The Parish Council had objected and one letter containing 15 signatures of objection from local residents had been received and the issues they raised were detailed  in the report.


Mr Pratt, Parish Council, advised they rejected the proposition.  It was on some resident’s deeds that the area was designated for a play area.  They were concerned with flooding of the area as adjacent houses experienced flooding at times in their gardens.  24 houses being built close by were to be piled.  The proposed houses were not economy houses and were to be located on a flood plain.


Mrs Steward, Ward Representative spoke on behalf of Mr Martin Eyles and 16 residents.  The field has severe flooding issues.  She brought Members’ attention to a piece of land which was cordoned off beside the proposed application.  The Tree & Countryside Officer had highlighted that sedge growed on the site and that it was liable to flooding.  There was no open space for the dwellings and children at all.  She provided history of the site for the benefit of the Committee.  The land appeared on the deeds of some of the property owners and the site had been left open for a reason.


The Solicitor advised the Committee that what appears in the deeds is covenant, and if planning permission was granted, residents may be able to stop the development proceeding if they have the right to do so on their deeds.  The Committee were not aware of the details of a 1990’s permission which had been referred to.


The Tree & Countryside Officer advised in the report that the site was rough grass/sedge and trees contiguous with open space liable to flooding and deliberately retained for conservation reasons to the north of the adjacent new development.  Across the watercourse to the north was a County Wildlife site and the whole formed an important reservoir for biodiversity bounding the village of Mundford.


Deferred, to allow Officers obtain more information on the flood risk, and the Environment Agency be asked to explain their conclusions.  A copy of the Flood Risk Assessment be supplied to Members.  Also, the Officers be asked to find out more details about the 1990’s application.


(c)        Item 3 : Wretham : Middle Farm/Sawpit Farm : Erect poultry units & assoc. works for both sites & 3 no. managers’ dwellings for Banham Group Ltd : Reference : 3PL/2011/0402/F


Item 1 and Item 3 were considered together – see Minute No. 140/11 (a).


Proposals had been submitted to rationalise Banham Poultry’s chicken rearing operations at Wretham Heath.  The application proposed the redevelopment of two existing poultry farms on land at Middle Farm and Sawpit Farm with a total of 12 new poultry units.  A further 8 poultry buildings were proposed at Middle Farm under application 3PL/2007/1606/F.  The new buildings proposed under the application would provide a combined floor space of 22,067m2 and a total capacity of 475,200 birds.  In addition to the redevelopment of Middle Farm and Sawpit Farm, it was proposed to remove three other existing poultry farms in the vicinity.  It was proposed to remove all existing poultry sheds at the two farms and to demolish completely 3 other poultry farms in the locality.  New farm workers’ dwellings were also proposed at the two redeveloped farms.


Deferred, and, subject to satisfactory


(i)         Confirmation by Natural England of satisfactory arrangements for ammonia emission control

(ii)        Justification of need for the new dwellings in respect of PPS7, and

(iii)       Confirmation by Environment Agency that the acquifer will be adequately protected,


Then the Officers be authorised to grant permission after completion of the S106 Agreement (including routing and phasing of the demolition and restorations of land) with suitable conditions


(d)       Item 4: Hockham and Stow Bedon : Brookside Farm/Breckles Gate, Watton Road Breckles : Erection of roof mounted solar photovoltaic system for Azur Solar Systems Ltd : Reference : 3PL/2011/0549/F


The application sought full planning permission for the installation or roof mounted solar photovoltaic systems to 14 existing farm buildings.


Approved as recommended.


(e)       Item 5 : Watton : The Warren, Watton Green : Residential development (18 no. dwellings) for Mr Trevor Whitmore : Reference : 3PL/2011/0550/O


The application sought outline approval for the erection of 18 dwellings of which 7 were to be affordable units.  The application sought to deal with only access, all other matters were reserved.  The site was to be accessed via Norwich Road B1108 and specifically via the access approved under 3PL/2010/0706/O (Residential development – Drome Garage).


There has been an issue with flash flooding in the vicinity, but Anglian Water, the Environment Agency and Environmental Health had been consulted and were content that the development would not cause undue problem.  A SUDS scheme was being proposed by the applicants.  The Policy Team had now accepted that the site would be satisfactory for development.  7 letters of objection has been received which covered access, detrimental to the character and appearance of the area, storm water disposal, capacity of the sewer system, noise to neighbouring properties, light pollution and reduction in privacy.


A Councillor was concerned that it was a split site with two separate developers and he would refuse the application as there was no sufficient access to the site.


Deferred, and the Officers be authorised to approve, subject to conditions, on completion of the S106 Agreement.


(f)         Item 6 : Dereham : Land at Fleece Meadow, Norwich Road : Erection of block of 14 residential apartments inc. access and parking areas for Dereham Town Council : Reference : 3PL/2011/0565/D


Cllr P Duigan declared a prejudicial interest by virtue of being a Member of Dereham Town Council, and left the room.


The application sought approval of reserved matters with regard to the erection of a block of 14 residential apartments including access and parking areas.  Appearance, landscaping and scale were the reserved matters from the outline application.  The apartment block would consist of a three-storey building that was reduced to two-storeys at the northern end of the site.  It should be noted that the proposed parking area for the Memorial Hall included in the outline application had been omitted from the reserved matters application.


Concern was raised with regard to possible parking problems.  Anglian Water had stated that the septic tank was a perfectly acceptable scheme in answer to a concern over insufficient drainage.


Whilst one Councillor would prefer Juliet balconies as he felt that the walk-on balconies were excessive, another liked the open balcony aspect but did ask whether a condition could be implemented that washing was not placed on the balconies or hung from them.  Whilst the Planning Team did not propose a condition of that nature, it was felt that perhaps a covenant could be included by the developer.


It was believed that the design could be improved without major structural changes, as it was felt to be extremely ordinary from the Memorial Hall view.


Deferred, to allow Officers to consult with the Applicants on the design.


(g)       Item 7 : Hockering : Six Acres, Stone Road : Extension of existing depot & erection of new workshop/office building.  2.4m high fencing (part retrospective) for Mr Mark Monk – MPH : Reference : 3PL.2011/0575/F


The application sought full planning permission for the erection of a new workshop building to be used in conjunction with the existing business.  The adjoining site, which included a variety of former military buildings used during the Second World War, would be incorporated into the application site.  Further significant expansion of the existing depot site included land to the north-east.  The scheme also included the demolition of numerous existing buildings on the site and the creation of a new earth bund to the south of the existing earth bank.  In addition, a scheme for fencing, which was partly retrospective, was proposed around the site boundary.


Hockering Parish Council were raising no objection on a 3-2 vote.  The Environment Agency had withdrawn their objection and Norfolk County Council had no significant concerns, but would like conditions implemented if permission was granted.  2 letters of objection from local residents had been received and were as listed in the report.


The Applicant had advised that the current site was far too small and the workshop only capable of accommodating one vehicle at a time for maintenance.  Nearby neighbours would not be affected by the proposal.  The training facility of the application would involve two students on one day.  The Applicant has not demonstrated that there were no other suitable sites in the area and had not explained why the business could not be located on an established employment site.   The fence would have significant impact on the landscape and was very intrusive in a rural location.  To benefit from Permitted Development rights, any fence over 1m in height would need to be set back 2m from the edge of the highway, which included any path or verge.


Mr Hawker, Objector, who lived on Heath Road 600-700m from the site questioned if was a suitable location, and stated the applicant would be clear to use the site for waste transfer in the future.  Noise disturbance would be inevitable, feed delivery vehicles already used Stone Road.  He was concerned over his water supply which was from a private bore and well.  Stone Road was one of the prettiest roads and routes to Hockering Wood.  The rural appearance of Stone Road would be dramatically compromised, and works had begun before consultation.  The visual appearance, noise and dust disturbance were a major concern.


Mr Took, Agent, stated the report failed to mention expansion of existing sites.  The only reason the site was proposed was because it was a previously developed site and next to the Applicant’s existing site.  The alternative would be for the Applicant to sell his business and house.  Planning Policy should encourage business growth. The building was a former grain store frame which would be re-clad.  The Applicant owned the entire verge including the curb stones, there was a 2m strip between the highway and the fence, and it was suggested that a native hedge be planted within the verge.  Lighting would be directed downwards and no more than at present would be installed; operating hours were 7 a.m – 6 p.m (12 noon on Saturdays).


Mr. Claussen, Ward Rep, gave a brief history of the Applicant’s business, the fence was there to secure the investment, but he and others would want to see the development screened and did not want stone crushing carried out on the site.  The business and equipment would not fit into the existing area.  The grain store was a re-clad agricultural building in an agricultural area along a designated lorry route.  He supported local business.


A Councillor’s main concern was that there would be nothing to stop the buildings being replaced as they were existing development.  The beginning of the road seemed tidy, but then the ex-military buildings were visible.  He would be more in favour of the application if the area could be tidied up.


The recommendation for refusal was not supported.  It was then resolved :-


(i)         That the application be deferred and that the Officers be authorised to approve the application if Norfolk County Council as Highway Authority confirmed that the verges in front of the proposed fencing were not highway and were owned by the applicant; the approval to be subject to conditions including the addition of screening in front of the fencing, that the fencing be coloured a dark colour to be agreed, no concrete crushing on site, and lighting to be downward.


(ii)        The reasons for approval were that it was an acceptable expansion of an existing brownfield site on a designated HGV route with some planning gain in tidying the site appearance.


(h)        Item 8 : Caston : Land at Bilhams Cottage, The Street : Erection of detached one and half storey bungalow & double garage & double garage to Bilhams Cottage for Co-Dunkall Ltd : Reference : 3PL/2011/0607/F


Due to a prior engagement, Cllr John Rogers was unable to attend.  Members had received email communication about the application.


The application sought full planning permission for the erection of a detached chalet bungalow and two detached pitched roof garages, one to serve the proposed dwelling and the other to serve the existing adjacent dwelling (Bilhams Cottage).  The development was to be sited to the rear of the existing dwelling.


The Inspector had dismissed two residential schemes for the site. Two main issues highlighted by the Inspector were, namely the impact of a scheme upon the character and appearance of the surrounding area and upon the living conditions of neighbouring properties.  It was evident that the current application would result in the same level of harm as highlighted in the appeal dismissal.


Letters of objection had been received along with a further letter of objection from the Parish Council.


Mr Skipper, Objector, advised the Committee it was the 5th planning permission attempted by the developer.  The Parish Council had consistently opposed the application.  Neighbours stated it would be detrimental to the aesthetics of the village.  It was a 2 storey house set at right angles on the street.  It would be 40% larger than the bungalows opposite and 80% larger than Chapel Farm adjacent.  If permission was granted, additional problems would occur as Bilhams Cottage was used for a construction business.


Ms Whettingsteel, Agent, advised the Committee the application was for a different development consisting of a single bungalow in similar style to those opposite.  Due to the mixed scale and design of properties it would sit comfortably within them.  The bungalows opposite had set a precedent.  It was the Council’s intention to amend the Settlement Boundary in that part of Caston.  The proposed new boundary would cut through the boundary of Bilhams Cottage.  Although the site did have an extensive planning history, the application should be considered on its own merits, and she spoke about the draft National Policy Framework.


Refused, as recommended.


The Principal Planning Officer advised the Committee that Bilhams Cottage was subject to enforcement action.


(i)         Item 9 : South Pickenham : Valley Farm, South Pickenham Road : Pole barn for cattle for South Pickenham Estate Company Ltd : Reference : 3PL/2011/0608/F


The proposal sought planning permission for a new pole barn to be sited within the curtilage of an existing farm/farmyard to Valley Farm.  The new barn would be sited adjacent to existing agricultural buildings. The applicants currently farm a 150 cow organic sucker herd and propose to winter all the stock in sheds and only allow the stock out in the spring and summer months.  The building would measure 50m in depth by 35m in width.  It would measure 3.6m to eaves height with a shallow pitched roof to a maximum height of 7.2m.  Access would be via the existing access from South Pickenham Road.  Materials would comprise open timber Yorkshire boarding with roof finished in onduline corrugated roof sheets coloured black.


There had been no objections from consultees, but the Countryside Officer had objected.  The Applicants need to comply with European Legislation by providing the cattle with over winter accommodation.  The site lied within the designed buffer zone.  The Principal Planning Officer advised that precautionary principle was relevant as impact on stone curlews could not be discounted.  However, there was no objection from Natural England.


Mr English, Ward Representative advised that if permission was not granted, the Environment Agency would take enforcement action due to the protection of the cattle and ground in the winter.  He had visited the site and could not understand how the application would have a detrimental affect on stone curlews. The potential affect on the Applicant’s business proposals need to be considered to see if they out-weigh the possible effects on stone curlews.  If Members were minded to approve the application, the building would start almost immediately.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) advised Members of research work undertaken through the LDF on what affects stone curlews and the link between built footprint and the density of birds.  The Solicitor advised of Habitat Regulations and the Directive.


The recommendation for refusal was not supported.  It was then resolved :-


To approve the application, contrary to recommendation, on the ground that Members found there would not likely be any significant effect on the stone curlews from the development, subject to a condition that the Pole Barn be built outside the stone curlew nesting period.


(j)         Item 10 : Snetterton : Chalk Farm, Chalk Lane : Installation of roof mounted solar photovoltaic systems for Mr Lawrence Cook : Reference: 3PL/2011/0635/F


The application sought full planning permission for the installation of roof mounted solar photovoltaic systems to ten existing farm buildings at Chalk Farm, Snetterton.


Approved, as recommended.


(k)        Item 11 : Banham : Rectory Farm Barn, Church Lane : Installation of solar panel arrays for Rev Richardson : Reference : 3PL/2011/0690/F


The application related to three solar photovoltaic arrays, a total of 16 panels, to be installed on two inner slopes of buildings forming a courtyard to a residential dwelling and on the outer slopes of a roof over an open car port area to that courtyard.  The Sandtoft system proposed would replace existing tiles and would be installed on the tile battens and not over existing roofing.  The roof area covered by panels would be 21.8 m2.


            Approved, as recommended.


(l)         Item 12 : Wretham : Stonebridge Camp, Thetford Road, Stonebridge : Extension of time limit on pp 3PL/2007/1569/F – Dev. Of Stonebridge camp, inc. erection of 27 dwellings for Beres Developments Ltd : Reference : 3TL/2011/0030/TL


The application sought to extend the time limit on a planning permission for residential development at Wretham.  The development proposed included the demolition of existing former military buildings and the erection of 27 dwellings, a new access and estate road, and an area of public open space.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) advised that the LDF had been approved since permission had been granted.  A number of new local policies had been introduced and of particular note was the increase in affordable housing from 30% to 40% and the introduction of Policy CP10 and the associated stone curlew buffer zone.  In addition, it is proposed to delete the Settlement Boundary for Wretham in the Site Specifics DPD.


In order to substantiate a reduction in affordable housing to 6 units, the Applicant had provided information to the Housing Team and to the Homes and Community Agency, and advice received was that the figures they provided were correct, and on that basis the Applicant’s figures justified a reduction in affordable housing provision.  The affordable housing was intended to be shared ownership and not social rented housing. 


Mr White, Parish Council, advised that they had been consulted and were content with the plans.  They had withdrawn their objection to the extension.


Mr Davies, Agent, stated that they had worked very hard with parishioners for the past 3½ years.  They had spoken with the Parish Council to understand their site concerns, and advised them of the benefits the scheme would bring, one being an equipped play area.


A Councillor made reference to the conclusion made by Environmental Planning in that the site was in an unsustainable location, had highly questionable deliverability, and did not satisfy the expectations of paragraphs 69 and 73 of PPS3 and there was an objection on that basis.  He felt the application was against policies and was a housing development outside village guidelines.  He questioned why the development had not gone ahead.  In answer to that point, Mr Davies stated that after permission was granted at the end of 2007, it took eight months before the S106 was finalised.


Members raised concern over site contamination and that there was no local school or shops.


Deferred, and the Officers be authorised to grant permission, subject to conditions, on completion of the new S106 Agreement.


Notes To Schedule


Item No.



Mr White, Parish Council

Mr Waterson, Agent

Mr Edwards, Agent


Mrs Steward, Ward Representative

Mr Pratt, Parish Council


Mr White, Parish Council

Mr Waterson, Agent

Mr Edwards, Agent








Mr Hawker, Objector

Mr Took, Agent

Mr Claussen, Ward Representative


Mr Skipper, Objector

Ms Whettingsteel, Agent


Mr English, Ward Representative






Mr White, Parish Council

Mr Davies, Agent


Written Representations Take Into Account


Reference No.

No. of Representations


















Supporting documents: