Revisions to Rural Areas Policy PD05 (Agenda item 7)
Report by Sarah Robertson, Senior Planning Policy Officer (Capita).
Sarah Robertson, the Senior Planning Policy Officer (Capita) presented the report that asked Members to note the revisions to Policy PD05 Rural Areas for inclusion within the pre-submission publication Local Plan.
The revised Policy had been included on page 15 of the agenda pack and the key changes that had been made were highlighted (see paragraph 1.3 of the report). For those that were not mindful of the differences between PD05A and PD05B it was explained that PD05A related to those rural settlements that retained a settlement boundary whilst PD05B referred to those smaller villages and hamlets that did not have a settlement boundary. PD05A would also allow for 5% growth against the number of dwellings inside the settlement boundaries from the point of adoption; this was similar to the approach within the Local Service Centres where 10% growth was proposed.
Councillor Borrett was satisfied with the maximum totals against the 5% growth listed in the table at paragraph 1.4 of the report and was pleased that Policies PD05A and PD05B had finally been confirmed. For the fact that the latter reinforced the requirement for local support to be included as a criteria for the determination of planning applications and for the fact that PD05A would allow some small scale developments in rural settlements. He thought that this was a huge step forward and wholeheartedly supported the revisions to the Rural Area Policy PD05 and thanked the Local Plan Working Group Members and the Planning Policy Team.
Mr Chris Garrod, the Chairman of Great Hockham Parish Council had concerns with PD05A. He explained that his village would like some growth and would like to see the settlement boundary shifted to take up the percentage that was allowed. He pointed out that Hockham used to have two shops, a Doctors surgery and a Public House and if growth did not happen further services would be lost.
Councillor Claussen alluded to paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which would be completely at odds with Breckland’s Policy PD05 which could cause a conflict. The Chairman assured Members that the Officers were already aware of this matter. Officers were also aware of the emails that he had received from Hockham Parish Council, Kenninghall Parish Council, Beachamwell Parish Council and from a parishioner from Old Buckenham – all comments received would be taken into account. In terms of the NPPF, the Director of Planning & Building Control (Capita) did not perceive there to be any conflict given that the provisions of para 55 referred to related to isolated homes in the countryside and PD05B related to cluster homes. However, he would be having discussions on PD05 with the Planning Inspectorate..
Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen thanked all colleagues for all their time and dedication working on PD05A and PD05B. He understood Great Hockham’s concerns and he asked Officers if the parish’s hope for extra growth could come via their Neighbourhood Plan. Tim Mills, the Executive Manager for Growth & Prosperity advised that Great Hockham could certainly go beyond the number of 12 dwellings highlighted in the table. With that response, Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen encouraged all parishes/communities to produce a Neighbourhood Plan. It was highlighted that ten Neighbourhood Plans had already been confirmed and there were grants available.
RECOMMEND to Cabinet that the revisions to Policy PD05 Rural Areas be included within the pre-submission publication Local Plan.