Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


David Alston (Norfolk) Ltd

Old Buckenham



Thornalley Funeral Services Ltd


 (See Pages 117- 127)


Silkwin Homes

Great Ellingham



MK Breckland Promotions Ltd




Nature’s Menu




Twells Partnership




WM Morrison Supermarkets plc




Mr & Mrs Moore




Mr M Monk




MMC Norfolk Ltd




Otley Properties

Whinburgh & Westfield



Iceni Developments Ltd




Mr & Mrs Barrett

Little Dunham



Mr & Mrs Brown






RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:



a)    Item 1: OLD BUCKENHAM: Land at Shrublands, Attleborough Road: Change of use of disused agricultural barns to provide 9 residential dwellings with associated parking: Applicant David Alston (Norfolk) Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2014/0976/F


Councillor Joel acted as Ward Member as stated in Minute Ref: 153/16.


In a previous appeal it was recognised that the agricultural buildings were worthy of retention having architectural value and being of a type recognised as disappearing from the Norfolk countryside.


Mr Milner (Chairman of Old Buckenham Parish Council) said Old Buckenham were not against development and wanted to support the needs of the village.  However, this development was considered to be isolated.  It would be family orientated and therefore the children would go to the school in the village by car.  This was considered unacceptable as there were no parking facilities at the school.  There was also no footpath for pedestrians from the development.


Mr Pierce (Agent) said the appeal information had been considered and the development supported the re-use of redundant buildings.


Councillor Joel (Ward Representative) had no objections to the development but was concerned about the sustainability.  There were no buses into the village, and the road had a 60mph speed limit in places.  He was concerned that there was no footpath from the development into the main village centre, or for the children to walk to school.


Councillor Duigan asked if the appeal decision gave indication of what development would be allowed.  The Chairman confirmed that the four bungalows were still at the site, and the original application was for 18 dwellings in total.


Councillor Martin asked which access the agricultural vehicles would use if Barn ‘A’ was to remain as a steel frame building.  It was confirmed they would use an existing route, so as not to disturb the new development.


Councillor Brame asked if the developer had spoken to the Parish Council with regards to adding a footpath.  There had been no discussions between both parties.


To grant approval, subject to conditions set out in the report, on completion of the Section 106 agreement.


b)    Item 2: SCOULTON: Land at Norwich Road: Erect new crematorium, car park, access roads, ancillary buildings & gardens of remembrance: Applicant Thornalley Funeral Services Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2014/1204/F


Councillor Bowes left the room as stated in Minute Ref: 153/16.


Mr Horn explained that planning permission, subject to conditions, had been granted by Planning Committee for this application by a Decision Notice dated 27 August 2015.  However, an objector had subsequently issued judicial review proceedings in the High Court and following the advice of a leading QC, Mr Horn, on behalf of Breckland Council, had signed a consent order which quashed the planning permission dated 27 August 2015.


The Application therefore now fell to be re-determined by Breckland Council.  No amendments had been made to the original application and accordingly, no further consultation was either required or had taken place.


Councillor Sharpe said he was not present at the meeting in August 2015, and asked if Members had in effect already made their decision. Mr Horn said that it was absolutely essential that Members put aside everything that had been heard and read last time, and that they considered and decided this matter totally afresh based on what was before them now.


The Principal Planning Officer went through the report in its entirety.  He particularly outlined the need for a crematorium within the Breckland District.  He also highlighted that local concern had been raised on highway safety and access to the site.  Improvements had been proposed to widen part of Norwich Road to accommodate a right hand turn into the site.


Mrs Simpson (on behalf of Objectors in Scoulton & Hingham) felt that important road safety matters were being ignored.  There had been 6 accidents in the last 5 years along the B1108, which was down to overtaking on this long stretch of road.  It was felt that the additional traffic using this piece of road would cause further accidents.


Mrs Crampion (Objector) raised concerns about road safety as well as a loss of natural countryside surroundings.


Mr Thornalley (Applicant) said the crematorium would be beneficial to residents of Breckland and South Norfolk.  It would reduce the amount of miles people would need to travel to a crematorium, as well as reduce the funeral waiting times.  A number of employment opportunities would be created and he had received overwhelming support from other funeral directors and ministers.


Mr Mehta (Associate Solicitor on behalf of Applicant) added that it was clear there was a need for this development within the District.  Concerns had been raised on road safety; however Norfolk County Council Highways had considered the application and accepted the scheme.


Councillor Chapman-Allen referred to the Tree Consultant’s comments regarding trees which already were protected by Tree Preservation Orders.  Mr Shingfield, the land owner, said that one tree at the entrance had already been removed, as it was dead. Councillor Chapman-Allen reiterated that careful account should be taken of the Tree Consultant’s recommendations in terms of landscaping and replanting.  She went on to say that south Norfolk had been in need of a crematorium for a long time.  She also asked that the décor of the building was of a soft nature and offered peace and tranquillity.


Councillor Martin added that he was pleased to see that road improvements had been considered, and hoped that signage would slow drivers down at this location.


Approved as recommended.


c)    Item 3: GREAT ELLINGHAM: Church Street: Erect 9 homes: Applicant: Silkwin Homes: Reference: 3PL/2015/0487/O


This application was for outline approval for nine dwellings, with matters of appearance, scale and landscaping reserved. 


Mr Betts (Chairman, Great Ellingham Parish Council) said the Parish Council were supportive of development and affordable housing in the village and had asked land owners to consider areas for development.  It was felt that the creation of a footpath would add to pedestrian safety.


Councillor Claussen said that the design of the properties was important to Great Ellingham.


Councillor Martin asked for the entrance to the development to be clarified.  It was confirmed that five dwellings would be served by a new access off Attleborough Road, and four semi-detached dwellings would be served off Church Street.


The Chairman congratulated the Parish Council on their forward thinking regarding development within the parish.


Decision that the application be granted subject to conditions and completion of the Section 106 Agreement, within 3-months of this meeting or such other time as the Operations & Contract Manager considers suitable, such authority being delegated to him, so that the application becomes refused in the event the timescale is not met.


d)    Item 4: SWAFFHAM: Swaffham Raceway, Downham Road: Erection of building for poultry & livestock auction purposes (sui generis use class): Applicant: MK Breckland Promotions Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2015/0735/F


Councillor Bowes left the room as stated in Minute Ref: 153/16.


The Principal Planning Officer explained the proposed development was for the erection of a steel building on part of the Swaffham raceway site which was for the purpose of a poultry and livestock auction that would take place on Saturdays.


He went on to say that Highways had raised objections relating to safety concerns and inadequate visibility splays. 


Aled Roderick (Transport Consultant from PT Planners) said that the Raceway had been in operation since the late 1980’s and had used the same access.  It was expected that approximately 60 vehicles would use the auction on a Saturday, whereas over 122 vehicles used the site on a Sunday for the raceway.  It had been proposed to move the Raceway signs to ease visibility.


Mr Eagle (Prospective Occupier) had been an auctioneer for 30 years, and had previously used a site on Lynn Road, Swaffham but had to close the site due to severe traffic congestion.  It was expected that clients using the auction on the Saturdays would use small vehicles, especially no larger than those used for the raceway.


Councillor Darby (Swaffham Town Council) said the poultry market had been part of Swaffham for a very long time, and the auction would attract people to the Town and did not think there would be much impact on traffic.


Councillor Sherwood (Ward Representative) said that people associated Swaffham with its market and its poultry market / auction.  People had been asking when the auction would be coming back to Swaffham, and it was felt that it was needed to keep one of the unique points of Swaffham alive.  If this was to be allowed, it would be the first livestock market to open in Norfolk. 


Councillor Sharpe said it was an excellent idea for the market to return to Swaffham.  He could not see the difference between the site opening on the Saturday with less traffic, than it already being open on the Sunday for the raceway traffic.  He suggested that despite the Highways objection, this application could be improved by not allowing the auction to take place at the same time as a race meeting.


Councillor Chapman-Allen concurred with Councillor Sharpe.  She added that the length of trailers used for the stock cars would be far in excess of those attending the livestock market.


Councillor Claussen asked for clarification on the improvements to be made on the visibility heading towards Downham Market.  Mr Roderick confirmed that signage would be moved and improved, and the verge would be cut back to maximise visibility.  Councillor Claussen added that on race-days the traffic all left at once, whereas on auction days it would be sporadic.


Councillor Joel hoped that both the raceway and auction would not meet on the same day to cause congestion.  He felt it was right for Swaffham and good for the economy.


Councillor Newton asked what the distance was between the bend and entrance to the track.  It was confirmed it was approximately 100m, and he therefore felt it was an acceptable distance.


The Operations and Contract Manager said if Members were minded to go against Officers recommendations, a condition could be imposed that the livestock auction does not operate on the same day as the race days.


The recommendation for refusal was not supported.  Councillor Sharpe proposed approval as the issue raised by Highways seemed unacceptable.  Councillor Claussen seconded the proposal which included the conditions for the removal of the signage and the auction and stock-car racing should not coincide.  The Committee agreed this motion and was in support of the proposal.


Approved, subject to conditions, set out above.


e)    Item 5: SNETTERTON: Land to North-West of A11 London Road: Erection of factory, Warehouse and Office Building for the manufacture and distribution of pet food: Applicant: Natures Menu: Reference: 3PL/2015/0967/F


Due to the close relation between Items 5 and 6, it was agreed the presentation would cover both applications together.  However Members were reminded that two separate decisions would need to be made.


Full planning permission was sought for the development of a new pet food manufacturer and distribution centre.  In addition permission was sought to extend an existing roadway to serve future commercial development at Snetterton Heath and creation of a drainage lagoon.


The Applicant wished to relocate his existing business from Hingham and Watton and had been seeking a larger sustainable development for a number of years.  The proposed site was close to the existing workforce which would assist a number of employees to retain their employment.

The proposed site was considered to be suitable as it would use the Snetterton Interchange and the A11.


Mr Watkins (Snetterton Parish Council) felt that a number of units within Snetterton could be utilised, before further developments were constructed. 


Helen Foley (Snetterton Parish Council) objected to building on agricultural land.  She said Norfolk was known for its agriculture and felt there were other areas of development which could be used rather than the proposed site.  Whilst development was welcomed it needed to be in the right place.


Mr Mann (Objector) had seen an increase in industrial development in his 34 years of residency at Snetterton.  He added that the infrastructure of Snetterton was not able to cope with extra development.


Mr Taylor (Applicant) said he had been working in partnership with Breckland Council to find an ideal site. The Hingham site was becoming outdated and not acceptable to future demands.  He clarified that the Watton site would remain.  The business was long established and not dependent on supermarkets and supplied small local suppliers.  The company had grown over 30% in the last 3 years, increasing employee numbers from 70 to 160, and it would be a huge personal investment that would be made.  He was mindful of local residents and the surrounding area and would work on managing the vehicular movements carefully.


Mr Napier (Chairman, Shropham Parish Council) said there had been a number of traffic issues and that all traffic should go via the Snetterton interchange and not Chalk Lane.  He also asked to see a work place travel plan in place.


Councillor Cowen (Ward Representative) spoke on both applications.  He felt the proposed request to extend the roadway would allow for further development.  He said there were a number of traffic and transport issues; however neither Highways nor Highways England had raised objections.  He added that the Snetterton interchange was inadequate for existing movements, let alone the additional traffic.  He did not want to see Nature’s Menu leave Breckland, and thought that travel and transport arrangements should be accommodated in this part of Breckland District.  Concerns had also been raised by the residents on the visual impact.


Councillor Joel asked if production or delivery would be over a 24-hour period.  The Applicant confirmed that there would be constant storage on site, with incoming traffic dealing with deliveries during the day only.  The production operated over two 8-hour shifts (0600 – 1400hrs and 1400 – 2200hrs).  The benefit of moving to the proposed site would enable deliveries to go straight out onto the A11, rather than through a village.


Councillor Bowes asked why the Applicant had been unable to find an alternative site.  The Applicant said a number of freehold sites had been considered, including one in Great Ellingham, however this was considered too close to residents.  He was very keen to keep his business within Breckland District.


Councillor Chapman-Allen asked how many jobs the move would create.  The Applicant said the company had outgrown its current buildings and had to outsource some roles to Europe.  However, by moving to the proposed site it would move employment back to the Breckland area and therefore hoped to provide additional employment to the District.


Councillor Chapman-Allen went on to ask if the additional jobs would create more traffic issues and whether a traffic Plan would be created.  The Applicant confirmed that the proposed site would open up opportunities as it was easily accessible for employees to commute. 


Councillor Chapman-Allen asked for clarification on vicinity of World Horse Welfare, as she would not want to see development in the area impacting on flooding and affecting the Horse Welfare site.  The Principal Planning Officer said the lagoon had been proposed to reduce the risk of flooding.


Councillor Claussen raised the traffic concerns but added that the company would have control over the volume of traffic, and suggested that they communicated with the Parish Councils on this.  The Applicant said he was very supportive of the Parish Councils and would work in partnership with them.


Councillor Joel suggested that good signage would be useful on the Snetterton Interchange to ensure the vehicles found the site.


Councillor Martin asked if the current deliveries within the original sites would cease.  The Applicant said that all distribution was currently dealt with in Watton, and the idea would be that a huge proportion of deliveries would be undertaken at Snetterton, therefore reducing the traffic in Watton.


Councillor Bowes asked if there could be assurances about the landscape.  The Principal Planning Officer said a condition could be added to ensure that the scheme fitted into the surroundings.


Councillor Robinson asked for the extent of the 24-hour operations.  The Applicant said that vehicles would be loaded overnight, and orders would be prepared for delivery the next day.  There would be no vehicle movements between 2200hrs – 0600hrs, with the exception of night cleaners.


Members approved of the scheme subject to a travel plan and landscaping.


Approved as recommended subject to conditions above and in the recommendation.


f)     Item 6: SNETTERTON: Grange Farm, Chalk Lane: Extension to access road & creation of drainage lagoon: Applicant: Twells Partnership: Reference: 3PL/2015/0982/F


Items 5 and 6 were discussed together.  See Minute no: 159/16e above.


Members approved of the scheme as reported and presented.


Approved as recommended subject to conditions in the report.


g)    Item 7: DEREHAM: Morrisons, Station Road: Variation of condition 9 of Planning Permission 3PL/2001/1513/F to extend delivery hours: Applicant WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc: Reference: 3PL/2015/1002/F


Deferred: See Minute 155/16 above.


h)    Item 8: STANFIELD: Owl Cottage, Fakenham Road: Change of use of annexe to residential: Applicant: Mr & Mrs Moore: Reference: 3PL/2015/1055/F


Councillor T Carter (Ward Representative) said the site was situated in a rural area.  The annex was due to be used by Mr & Mrs Moore, owners of the farm; however this was not possible due to ill health.


Councillor Brame added that the annexe was sustainable for the elderly couple to live in it, but not sustainable for a different person to live in it.


Mrs Moore (Applicant) said that she had lived at the farm for 30years, and was ready to move into the annexe, but was now unable to due to ill health.  She was currently living in the farmhouse with her son.


Councillor Joel suggested that the son could use the annexe.


Councillor Claussen said a requirement of living in Norfolk involved using a car. 


The Chairman agreed regarding the argument of sustainability, however questioned the change of the annexe to residential use as it could be rented out to outsiders, or then become marketable and sold off.  A condition could be added to prevent this from happening.


Councillor Chapman-Allen asked why they would not want to keep the annex within the farm as an asset.


The Operations and Contract Manager reminded Members that in the Officers report it mentioned that immediately adjacent to the annexe was a barn which could be used as a workshop.  In turn this could result in a potential impact of amenity on the occupier of the annexe.


Councillor Joel asked if the dwelling could only be used for rental purposes and not be allowed to be sold.


Mrs Moore agreed to complete a Section 106 agreement to retain the annex to be indivisible from the main site and it would remain as an asset to the farm.


Members did not support the recommendation to refuse.  Members approved the application subject to the prior completion of a Section 106 Agreement to tie the application site to the main site.


Approved contrary to the recommendation subject to completion of the Section 106 agreement.



i)      Item 9: HOCKERING: Heath Road: Erection of 6 dwellings: Applicant: Mr Monk: Reference: 3PL/2015/1113/F


This development was for six two-storey dwellings which comprised three-pairs of semi-detached houses.  Two of the dwellings would provide affordable housing.


Access would be by a central point and visual splays were in accordance with relevant standards.  It was proposed to extend the existing footway, and therefore a slight widening of the road.  The speed limit would be extended to beyond the site through conditions.


Mrs Warren (Hockering Parish Council) said concern had been raised due to its dangerous locality and felt Members should visit the site before a decision was made.  She added that there was already a large supply of low-cost housing within the village.


Councillor Borrett (County Representative) felt the site was intrusive into the countryside and raised concerns based on road safety.


Councillor Bambridge (Ward Representative) reported that there were over 50% of properties in Hockering were small two-bedroom dwellings.  He added the village was in need of larger properties.


Councillor Robinson asked for a clear definition on the situation of affordable housing.  It was confirmed the affordable housing was subject to a Section 106 Agreement.


Decision to delegate authority to Officers to approve the application subject to conditions, on completion of the Section 106 agreement.


j)      Item 10: BESTHORPE: Land adjacent to Northview Cottage, Norwich Road: Erection of 2 dwellings: Applicant: MMC Norfolk Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2015/118/F


This was an amended application which sought full planning permission for the erection of two, four bedroom dwellings on land to the south of North View Cottage, Norwich Road, Besthorpe.


The site had previously been used for camping and caravanning use which had ceased operation. The existing access would be utilised.


Mr Clancy (Agent) confirmed the application had been amended in consultation with the Planning Officers.


Approved as recommended subject to conditions in the report.


k)    Item 11:WHINBURGH & WESTFIELD: Shop Street: Outline planning application for two new dwellings on land at Shop Street, Whinburgh: Applicant: Otley Properties: Reference: 3PL/2015/1224/O


This application sought outline permission for the erection of two detached, two storey dwellings, with all matters reserved.  Existing trees and hedging would be retained where considered necessary.


Mr Long (Agent) felt that the proposal demonstrated that two dwellings could be accommodated whilst being respectful to the surrounding area.  The Agent was comfortable with the conditions imposed.


Approved as recommended subject to conditions in the report.



l)      Item 12: BESTHORPE: Land at Norwich Road: Outline planning application for development of 6 dwellings (all matters reserved): Applicant: Iceni Developments Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2015/1225/O


This was an outline application for the erection of six dwellings, with all matters reserved.  


An objection had been received based on the impact on daylight and outlook.  It was recommended that a minimum of 7metres distance should be between the existing property and the new development to minimise the impact on amenity. 


Whilst comments were awaited from the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and Anglian Water, it was considered that in principle a scheme of sustainable urban drainage could be provided on site in accordance with the guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Guidance, and subject to a condition securing the submission and approval of a detailed surface water drainage strategy at reserved matters stage.  It would also be subject to a Section 106 agreement to include provision for affordable housing.


Mr Fuller (Agent) was available for questions.


Councillor Claussen was concerned about flooding issues as he had recently seen a piece of land in Besthorpe flooded due to the recent bad weather.


Councillor Joel asked if the development was part of the village or the countryside.  The Operations & Contract Manager said it appeared to be a logical extension to the village.


The Chairman said that whilst an indicative plan was shown, he would ask that consideration be given to the existing development.


The Operations & Contract Manager said that whilst it was intended to impose a 7-metre condition he suggested an additional 2metres was added from the settlement boundary.


Councillor Martin asked if the developments would be on mains water, or septic tank.  The Agent said that Klargesters would be used, using bio-treatments, allowing clean water to flow into the ditch.

Decision that the Officers authorised to grant approval, subject to conditions, on completion of the Section 106 agreement and that the Reserved Matters application be referred to the Planning Committee.


m)  Item 13: LITTLE DUNHAM: 2 School Lane: Erection of dwelling: Applicant: Mr & Mrs Barrett: Reference: 3PL/2015/1236/F


The proposal was for one dwelling within a conservation area.  Access would be via School Lane, a private drive.


Mrs Barrett (Applicant) said she had bought the land in 1991 to stop undesirable building on the land.


Mrs Don (Supporter) added that the village did not have a settlement boundary and the bungalow would be situated in the corner of the field adjacent to other buildings.


Mr Ailsby (Objector) said the proposed site was on a large field which could be used as agricultural land and building on this would destroy the area.


Mrs Brown (Objector) added that it was evident pot-holes had been getting worse, and building a property would only add to the problem.


The Chairman read a letter from Councillor Gould (Ward Representative) which asked Members to consider a balanced view on the application.


The Operations and Contract Manager reminded Members that this proposal was in a conservation area.


The recommendation for refusal was not supported.  Councillor Sharpe proposed approval irrespective of it being in a conservation area as the development would not do irreparable harm. 


Councillor Brame seconded the proposal adding that the development would not detract from the conservation area.


Approved contrary to the recommendation on the basis that it was felt there was a misinterpretation of the harm to the conservation area and the sustainability arguments were not accepted.


n)    Item 14: HOCKERING: 57 Heath Road: Erection of 2 Semi-detached dwellings: Applicant: Mr & Mrs Brown: Reference: 3PL/2015/1244/O


This application was for outline planning permission for a pair of semi-detached dwellings with all matters reserved, apart from access.


Mrs Warren (Hockering Parish Council) felt the development would create a danger for traffic due to poor visibility and the inevitable parking issues it would cause on the main road.


Mr Philpott (Agent) added that the shared drive would be large enough for deliveries by large vehicles.  He also mentioned that the traffic had been reduced significantly since the HGVs had been re-directed.


Councillor Borrett (Ward Representative) said it was important to re-iterate the view of the Parish Council.  He did not want to see the development go ahead.  It would be on a road with 30 new houses recently approved, and he felt that the village of Hockering was being extended.  He also added that the applications had been of a similar type, and that a mix of developments was required.


Councillor Bambridge (Ward Representative) said that larger properties were needed within the village.


Councillor Claussen asked why a semi-detached development had been proposed, as it would be situated next to a detached property.  The Principal Planning Officer said there was no strict line and added that three-bedroom properties had been proposed.


Approved as recommended subject to conditions mentioned in the report.


Supporting documents: