Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications :


Item No



Page No


Healthcare Homes Group Ltd




Bennett Plc




Bennett Plc




Mr Michael Parker




Hopkins Homes Ltd





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows :


(a)       Item 1 : Beetley : Removal of Section 106 on pp 3PL/2005/0920 to allow occupancy for under 55s : Reference : 30B/2011/0002/OB


            The report was presented by the Principal Planning Officer.


Mr Leigh, Parish Council, stated that the Parish Council had discussed the application at length on two occasions.  When the development was consulted on in 2005, they felt that the S106 agreement was necessary to protect the development from potential residents who could disturb the tranquil neighbourhood and the Care Home.  The original applicant was no longer the owner.  The properties would not remain as ancillary accommodation for the Care Home.  The Parish Council had discussed with the Agent lowering the age of occupants to 45, but they had received no response to that suggestion, and they continued to object to the proposal.


Mr Peecock, Agent, advised that since submitting the application, there were now six empty properties and he believed that part of the problem with regard to the marketing and saleability of those, was that they were two storeys, lacked nearby amenities and market competition.  The Applicant was trying to free up the properties and make proper use of a valuable asset.


Mr Duffield, Ward Representative, questioned if the District Valuer had checked the property values which were leasehold and not freehold.


Members agreed with the Chairman’s concerns over price and occupancy and that more options should be explored by the Applicant, one being affordable housing.


From evidence put before them, the recommendation to approve planning permission was not supported by Members, as they believed the same reasons still applied as they had at the time of the original application 3PL/2005/0920/F.


Contrary to the recommendation, the application was refused as Members were not convinced that sufficient evidence had been put forward to satisfy them that the reasons for entering into the agreement were no longer valid and  for the detrimental effect on residents.


(b)       Item 2 : Croxton : Demolition of two existing dwellings and existing outbuildings : Reference : 3PL/2011/1020/CA


            The application was considered at the same time as the item below.


            Refused, as recommended.


(c)        Item 3 : Croxton : Residential development of 14 dwellings following demolition of two existing dwellings & ext outbuildings : Reference : 3PL/2011/1021/F

            The application was considered at the same time as the item above.


The Principal Planning Officer presented the report and advised that significant representations had been received as detailed in the report.  Two outstanding matters of concern were ecology and archaeology.  A further survey on protected species (bats) was required, but as that could only be undertaken during the period May to September it was one of the reasons for refusal.  The second being further information required following advice from Norfolk Landscape Archaeology.


Mr King, Parish Council, advised that whilst they had no objection to the demolition of the two existing dwellings, they found the proposal of a residential development of 14 dwellings unacceptable due to non compliance of core strategy policies.  Reasons were detailed in the report, but he referred to housing density, elevation of the site, access, drainage and that it would be detrimental to the environment.


Mr Childerhouse, Ward Representative, stated that there was considerable local concern with regard to the number of dwellings for the site along with Thetford’s growth, and that 14 dwellings represented a significant change and impact on the area and the poor design and layout would be too cramped.  Croxton needed a quality development.


Refused, as recommended, along with additional reasons for refusal given as design and layout of the buildings and over development of the site.


(d)       Item 4 : Gooderstone : Erection of two dwellings : Reference : 3PL/2011/1088/F


Members were handed correspondence at the meeting on the item.


The Principal Planning Officer presented the report for the erection of two dwellings.  Whilst the site received outline planning consent in 2004 for three dwellings, the permission had lapsed and significant changes had occurred with the planning system since that time. 


Whilst Natural England and the Applicant’s own ecologist raised no objection, Breckland Council’s Ecology Advisor had concluded differently.  The Principal Planning Officer spoke about stone curlews and their nesting habitats.  The application failed to comply with Core Strategy Policy CP10 as it could not be ascertained that an absence of an adverse effect upon the stone curlew special interest feature of the SPA could be established.


On 16 December 2011 a report had been received from the Inspector with regard to the Site Specific Policies and Proposals Development Plan Document within which he had confirmed and endorsed the proposed changes with regard to the Settlement Boundary of Gooderstone.

Mr Goldsmith, for the Applicant, was present as an independent ecologist observer which was the same role he had with regard to the proposed site.  He had been involved with stone curlews since 1965 and photographs were shown to the Members to accompany his statement.  Gooderstone was on the edge of the main area where stone curlews were located. He advised that the number of breeding pairs had grown by approximately 10 pairs a year, with a UK population of about 500 pairs, all of which were not as threatened as they had been in the past. He stated that rare birds and people could live together and could do so in this instance.


Mr English, Ward Representative, was in attendance to support the application.  The Parish Council had voted five in favour of the application, with one being against it. There was no definitive evidence to say that stone curlews would be affected by the development.


The Solicitor and Planning Manager advised that should Members be minded to overturn the recommendation they would have to come to the decision that the proposal would not adversely affect the integrity of the SPA.


A Councillor stated that the stone curlews were a very important matter of national importance and it was the responsibility of the Planning Authority to be mindful of that.  Another Councillor felt that the buffer zone was a flexible one.


Design concerns were raised with regard to a very large window not in keeping with a cottage style bungalow and soldier bricks as opposed to arches.  Added to this, as one of the dwellings did not have a chimney it was felt a chimney should be incorporated to be able to run carbon neutral with the installation of a wood burner.


The recommendation to refuse planning permission was not supported by Members.


Contrary to the recommendation, the application be approved subject to conditions and the extra condition listed below, as taking into account the views provided, Members concluded that the application would not have an adverse affect on stone curlews in the SPA.


The extra condition was that plans be amended to incorporate a chimney on the dwelling  shown to Members without one.


(e)       Item 5 : Thetford : Erection of 13 dwellings (revised details to crescent block as previously permitted under 3PL/2002/1693/D


For the benefit of Members not on the Committee when the application was first considered, the Principal Planning Officer gave background details on the design and concept of the development. 


Mr Smith, for the Applicant, advised that chimneys shown on some of the proposed dwellings were to provide a traditional look to the buildings.  The windows were real sash ones.  No formal detail had been submitted yet, but the intention was the first and second floors would be rendered.  He believed the Applicant would incorporate curved arches over the top of the garages.


Whilst one Councillor was disappointed in the scheme and gave the reasons of the garages being at the front, the buildings did not conform to those on the other side of the road, and that the proposal was reminiscent of 1960s/70s buildings, other Councillors felt the design was far less cluttered, liked the simplicity of the lines, and there would be no space at the back for garages.


Given that the Applicant was striving to achieve a 21st century mews type crescent it was suggested that the garage doors be heavily recessed with a stone arch above, a good standard of materials used with a block type panelled garage door to match the front doors.


Approved, as recommended subject to conditions, with the additional conditions that the garage doors should be recessed with stone arches incorporated above and that permitted development rights to the front of all the dwellings be removed.


Notes To Schedule


Item No.



Mr Leigh, Parish Council

Ms Rose, Parish Council

Mr Peecock, Agent

Mr Duffield, Ward Representative


Mr King, Parish Council

Mr Childerhouse, Ward Representative


Mr King, Parish Council

Mr Childerhouse, Ward Representative


Mr Goldsmith, for Applicant

Mr English, Ward Representative


Mr Smith, for Applicant


Written Representations Taken Into Account


Reference No.

No. of Representations














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