Agenda item

Swanton Morley: Greengate: Erection of 20 residential dwellings with associated garaging, parking and access: Applicant: Hopkins & Moore Limited: Reference: 3PL/2011/0830/D

Report of the Director of Commissioning.


The Principal Planning Officer presented slides to refresh the Members’ memory and went through the reasons why the application was deferred on 31 October 2011 and the amendments made to the proposed drainage strategy and flood alleviation proposal for the site.


Mr Atterwill, Parish Council, believed that the subject of flooding should be satisfied before full approval was granted.  It was fundamental who would own the large swale feature and be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of it.  He questioned why a third field access was being considered when there were two already available.  The plan was out of date.  Cladding had been changed and the number of rendered properties had been reduced.  He did not believe that the pond had been assessed for suitability for great crested newts as advised it should be by the Tree & Countryside Officer in his comments shown in the report to the Committee on 31 October 2011.


Mrs Jameson, Objector, who resided at 40 Greengate was also present to represent the views of those who lived at 42 Greengate.  She believed that the short notice given to interested parties was unacceptable.  The field access was of concern.  They were unable to dispute claims as they were not drainage experts.


Mr Hyde, Objector, stated that the proposed swale would not have a level base and would increase flooding to his property.  Levels adjacent to the site had been ignored.  62 Greengate was 2m lower.  His property would be used as a giant soak-away for the development.


Mr Eburne, for Applicant, advised that they had provided a Flood Risk Assessment.  The development would not exacerbate the existing flood issues but would improve them which had been verified by the Council and its drainage advisors.  The swale feature would be maintained and render materials could be withdrawn for bricks.  He stated the development would be better for the locality than a field.  Proper drainage would be installed.  Currently there was no drainage under the road.  The proposal was good and had been made better by the deferment.  The field access and drainage system would be maintained by a formal management company.  The farm access was a contractual arrangement and the land owner was reserving his rights.


Mr Richmond, Ward Representative, supported the Parish Council in their views that they were not pleased that there were still rendered properties proposed.  There was no provision for street lighting.  They were not happy with the second entrance as agricultural machines could travel through the site.  The need for a newt and ecology survey seemed to have been ignored.  Boundary disputes had not been clarified.


The Solicitor made reference to an eight page emailed letter received from Mr Hyde, Objector, on Sunday 18 December 2011 which raised a number of matters with regard to the proposed application.  The Solicitor advised that he had not been consulted with about his legal opinion of the site.  He believed any legal challenge with regard to outline permission has passed.  He had not been asked for his opinion on the field access and disagreed with some of the points Mr Hyde raised in his letter.  He had not seen anything within the letter that caused him concern with regard to the legal aspect.


The Principal Planning Officer stated that Members were not being asked to grant approval for the drainage scheme.  He read out an extract from the standard letter provided by Norfolk County Council to Parish Councils at the start of the detailed approval process prior to entering into a section 38 Agreement with regard to street lighting. 


The gate to the farm access was felt to be set too far into the site.  If Members were minded to approve the proposal, it was suggested that the gate be placed on the boundary.  It was also questioned why the swale could not be made deeper to compensate for the different levels to alleviate some of the fears raised.


Concerns raised by Members were that residents did not want rendered properties, the affordable housing did not look like the rest of the housing, use of materials, uncertainty over the management and maintenance of the swale, the field access including why did the Landlord require it.  Due to this, Members did not feel they had sufficient information to make a decision.


Deferred, to allow Officers to look into points raised.

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