Agenda item

Historic Characterisation Study (Agenda item 9)

Report of Sarah Robertson, Senior Planning Policy Officer (Capita).


Due to its size the appendix to this report will be sent as a separate supplementary agenda.


Sarah Robertson, the Senior Planning Policy officer presented the report which informed Members of the Historic Characterisation Study and agree for its inclusion as part of the Local Plan’s evidence base.


The Study had been undertaken due to the Breckland area having a very important historic environment.  It included over 1500 listed buildings, 51 conservations areas, 127 scheduled monuments and 9 registered parks and gardens.


Meetings had been had with Historic England and with the Council’s Historic Building Officer, Andrew Gayton. The methodology had been agreed prior to work being undertaken on site assessments.  The methodology had been developed to take into account three stages:


·         Stage 1 – Desktop assessment of sites

·         Stage 2 – Site survey of every site

·         Stage 3 – Evaluating impact


For the purpose of the desktop assessment a 500m buffer around the site extending from the site boundary had been used to initially identify whether any designated heritage assets are in close proximity to the site, Each site had been given a RAG rating of green, amber and red (see pages 8 and 9 of the appendix to this report); the areas with ‘red’ ratings would be removed from the Local Plan.  Seven of the sites have been given a ‘red’ rating which had been considered for removal from the Local Plan (see section 1.6 of the report). A proforma was available for each site (see pages 10 onwards of the appendix to this report). 


The Chairman highlighted further comments received from Mr Jaggard, a parishioner from Old Buckenham who supported the recommendation to remove site LP(074)006 from the consultation document based on the findings of this Historic Characteristics report.  The Chairman also highlighted the email received from Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen on behalf of Mr Gordon, the Chairman of Kenninghall Parish Council whose Parish Council meeting had voted by a clear majority in favour to support the recommendations of the Historic Characterisation Study for Kenninghall.  Councillor Joel said that he had spoken Mr Jaggard about the removal of this piece of land from the Local Plan and had suggested that the those dwellings originally for that site could come along as natural growth over the next 10 years.


Referring to the Study, Councillor Duigan felt that it seemed to be historic heavy rather than landscape and mentioned the proposed retention of the Dereham hospital site as a non-designated asset.  He could not see the sense in this type of designation as it offered no protection and gave an example of one very similar that had been demolished in 2000 and redeveloped.


A Watton Town Councillor highlighted Wayland Wood on the outskirts of the town. She was not certain if it was already listed as a historic site and raised concerns about the developments creeping ever closer.  The Chairman pointed out that such matters/concerns should be included in their Neighbourhood Plan.  The Senior Planning Policy officer (Capita) explained that Wayland Wood was ancient woodland and she believed it was a SSSI but would check.  In response to Councillor Duigan’s concerns, Members were informed that the Landscape Character Assessment from the LDF was still current.  The Strategic Planning Manager added that a non-designated heritage asset would carry some weight and would be reflected in the policies as well as any future planning applications.


Councillor Borrett supported the proposal to remove the site in Mattishall.  He asked for clarification that if a site was removed and an alternative could not be found to fulfil the Local Plan would a criteria be applied; and was there any reason why this could not happen in Mattishall in line with PD05A.  The Director of Planning & Building Control (Capita) confirmed that in situations where the Local Plan did not provide sufficient housing allocations to achieve housing growth targets then a criteria based policy similar to PD05A would be included in the Plan.


RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted and the Historic Characterisation Study be included as part of the Local Plan’s evidence base and published on the Council’s website.



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