Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9)

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Lincoln Care Home

Swanton Morley







Gooderstone Farming Company




Mr A Guerin




Mundford Poultry Ltd




Tey Gardens LLP





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)         Item 1: SWANTON MORLEY: Lincoln House Care Home, Dereham Road: New 30 bed dementia unit: Applicant: Lincoln House Care Home: Reference: 3PL/2012/1061/O


This was an outline application will all matters reserved apart from layout and scale.  The main concern was the impact on the landscape.  The new building would be in a prominent position on the main approach to the village.  Screening would take time to take effect and might cause future problems by restricting light into and outlook from the building. 


The Highway Authority had raised no objection to the new access but local concerns had been received regarding the effect of additional traffic movements on properties opposite and the dangers of the sharp bends in the vicinity.


Mr Atterwill (Parish Council) raised concerns about the design of the building which he described as a ‘red eyesore’; accidents at the junction; drainage issues and possible further extensions to the complex.


Mr Maxwell (objector, also representing his neighbour Mrs Carlton) was a local resident of 19 years and a police officer.  He raised concerns about the loss of outlook; increased traffic problems; and affect on amenity from noise and light.


Mr Evans (Agent) explained the history of the site.  Permission had been given for a 30 bed dementia unit to the rear of the site in 2009.  That application had lapsed.  It had been decided that the unit would be too far from the existing care home.  With regard to local concerns, significant amendments had been made to the application.  The building had been moved further back and would not look dissimilar to what was already there; increased car park spaces had been provided; a 10 metre landscaping belt had been included; and facilities in the new unit could be offered for local use through the doctor’s surgery.


Councillor Robert Richmond (Ward Representative) had attended the Parish Council meeting at which many local people had raised concerns regarding the loss of amenity and changed environment.  He was concerned about the dangerous bends and pedestrian safety.


Councillor Bambridge asked if alternative access arrangements could be considered but was advised by the Solicitor that no details were available and so the application should be considered as it stood.


Issues concerning the positioning, staffing and residents of the new unit were clarified.  The new unit would be for high dependency dementia patients.  The previously approved site would potentially be used for further assisted living units.


Councillor Bowes suggested that if the design was attractive there would be no need for screening to hide the building.


With regard to whether there was need for the facility, Dr Kaushal explained that currently there were no purpose built units in the area and the intention was to set a gold standard for dementia care.


Refused, as recommended.


b)         Item 2: SHROPHAM: Grange Farm, Hargham Road:  Proposed portal frame extension to existing factory to create covered yard area: Applicant: TNP Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2012/1083/F


For transparency Councillor Bowes declared that she was friends with one of the Directors of TNP Ltd.


This application proposed a large building which lorries would drive into to unload poultry for the processing plant.  It would reduce noise and contamination.  An existing permission for a light industrial unit would be revoked by a legal agreement, as there was insufficient space to accommodate both buildings and retain manoeuvring and parking areas.


Deferred, and the officers be authorised to grant approval as recommended on completion of the S106 Agreement restricting the implementation of the existing light industrial permission.


c)         Item 3: NARBOROUGH: Chalk Lane: Development of up to 55 residential dwellings, open space and new access road from Chalk Lane: Applicant: Gooderstone Farming Company: Reference: 3PL/2012/1093/O


This outline application, with only access to be considered, proposed development of a site approved under the Council’s Site Specifics Local Development Framework allocation.


The indicative layout had been well thought out and worked well.  Less than normal on-site open space had been provided, due to the site’s position immediately adjacent to playing fields.  An increased financial contribution was therefore proposed.  The affordable housing provision would be 35% subject to verification from the District Valuer.


Concerns had been raised about the speed and volume of traffic and a gateway feature had been suggested.  The Highways Authority had suggested a more built-up frontage to the site but Planners did not want to create an urban development. 


Councillor Williams (Ward Representative and Chairman of the Parish Council) said the only concern was traffic calming as the road could be very busy and children would access the play facilities on the playing fields across the road.


Mr Bird (Agent) said they had worked with the Parish Council and local people to address concerns.  All interests were aligned regarding highway improvements and he hoped to convince the Highway Authority to change their mind.  The allocation called for play facilities on site, but the Parish Council would prefer a financial contribution to provide additional facilities on the playing field.


Councillor North asked if the large Oak tree on the site frontage could be protected in case traffic calming proposals threatened its position.


Members agreed that traffic calming measures were needed and hoped that the Highways Authority would reconsider their comments.


The application be deferred, and, subject to receipt of the District Valuer’s approval of the Affordable Housing figures, and the satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues relating to traffic calming,the Officers be authorised to grant approval on completion of the S106 Agreement.


c)      Item 4: DEREHAM: Galleymoor Farm, Neatherd Moor: Wooden faced boundary fence (retrospective): Applicant: Mr A Guerin: Reference: 3PL/2012/1112/F


This application to wood-clad an existing wall was partly retrospective.  The barn conversion had been approved in 2005 without permitted development rights.  Officers felt that the occupiers had a right to security and privacy.


Councillor North asked that a condition be applied to ensure that the timber cladding was retained in perpetuity.


Approved, as recommended, with the additional condition on maintenance of the cladding.


e)     Item 5: MUNDFORD: Mundford Poultry Farm, Cranwich Road: Storage lagoon, security lodge and link connections between adjacent poultry buildings to form large open barns: Applicant: Mundford Poultry Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2012/1185/F


This application to provide linkages between existing poultry buildings would reduce stock densities in line with European requirements.  No objections had been raised and the application would have no impact on neighbours.


Approved, as recommended.


f)        Item 6: THETFORD: Abbey Barns, Monksgate: Extend time on pp 08/1340/F and 08/1339/LB – Demolish buildings, erect 15 units, convert barns to 6 units and convert Listed Building to 5 units: Applicant: Tey Gardens LLP: Reference: 3TL/2012/0015/TL


These applications sought a time extension for the existing planning permission and Listed Building Consent.


The history of the site was explained to Members, some of whom had not been on the Committee at the time of the applications. The assessment notes had an inaccuracy.  The Committee at that time had resolved to approve the previous applications to convert the site, which included two Grade One buildings, for residential use.  It had been very controversial as many people had wanted the site to be converted for community use. That decision had been called in by the Secretary of State and an Inquiry had been held.  The applications had then been approved.


Changes to Policy in the meantime were not considered to affect the decision and approval was recommended. 


Councillor Clark (Ward Representative) said that two new developments in the vicinity had created 46 houses which had increased traffic problems and accidents.  The application would be an over development of the area.


Councillor Canham (Ward Representative) objected to the extension of time.  The buildings had not been kept wind and weather proof.  She confirmed that due to developments in the area, the access roads to the site were congested.


Mr Wilson (Objector representing the Thetford Society) did not believe that the proposal was financially viable and said that the Inquiry Inspector had also expressed doubt.  The site had been allowed to deteriorate.  Interested parties should work together to save the Heritage assets.  The Council should take the lead to ensure long-term viability.


Mr Newman (Applicant) said they were a specialist company working with Listed Buildings and had purchased the site to develop it.  They had taken time to collate the necessary information to address conditions.  They had applied to have those conditions discharged in December and did not want the time limit to expire.  The site was earmarked for development in 2013.


Councillor Armes stressed the importance of the Listed Buildings.  She asked if the Secretary of State would need to be consulted on the Time Limit extension and was advised that that would not be necessary.  She asked why no works had been carried out to prevent water damage.  She also pointed out that the Council had taken action regarding another Thetford Listed Building, St Mary the Less.


The Planning Manager noted that it took a long time for a building to fall into disrepair and the current applicant had only owned the site for a short time.  He acknowledged that the Council had powers to act, as they had done regarding St Mary the Less.  However, that action had been financed by a grant from English Heritage.  The Council could only make the buildings water and weather-tight.  Its powers were limited beyond that and the issues would remain on-going. 


Councillor Spencer would have preferred a communal use for the site but that had not worked out.  This developer had experience of working with Listed Buildings and she believed that development was the only way to save the buildings.


Councillor Lamb, who was also a member of the Thetford Society, reiterated his objections to the conversion, explaining the unique features of the Listed Buildings which made sub-division inappropriate.  He advised that Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust were very interested in the buildings and asked for the letter from Mr Rossi, an expert in the field, to be read out.


The Planning Manager agreed for the letter to be read but pointed out that English Heritage were the Government’s advisors and they said the proposal was acceptable.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) advised that the Grade One buildings were listed because of their internal features and the issue of sub-division had been looked at extensively to ensure that the timber frames were respected.  He then read the main points from Mr Rossi’s letter which included stressing the importance of the Grade One buildings’ relationship with the Priory; concerns about the lack of evidence regarding viability; the deterioration of the site and the hope that the Council would take action including serving notice and refusing the application.


Councillor North was concerned about the lack of contributions to the rest of Thetford and asked that all buildings should be made watertight until development commenced.  She asked if development would commence with the Listed Buildings and the Applicant advised that the development would be cross funding, with income from the new build financing the repairs to the Listed Buildings.


Both applications be approved, as recommended.


Notes to the Schedule

Item No


Agenda Item 8a

Mr Thompson – Applicant

Mr Took – Agent

Councillor Turner – Ward Representative


Mr Atterwill – Parish Council

Mr Maxwell – Objector

Mr Evans – Agent

Councillor R Richmond – Ward Representative


Mr Bird – Agent

Councillor Williams – Parish Council / Ward Representative


Mr Wilson – Objector (Thetford Society)

Mr Newman – Applicant

Councillor Canham – Ward Representative

Councillor Clark – Ward Representative


Written Representations Taken into Account

Reference No

No of Representations














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