Agenda item

Breckland Local Plan Pre-Submission Publication Document and Strategic Housing Market Assessment- see separate supplementary agenda packs

This item will not be discussed before 2.00pm.


Report of Councillor Gordon Bambridge, Executive Member Growth.


The Executive Member for Growth presented the Strategic Market Housing Assessment first.  The Senior Planning Policy Officer informed Members that the Central Norfolk Strategic Housing Market Assessment formed the key element of the housing evidence which was required to support the Local Plan.  The important element was the housing target to be delivered across the district equated to 612 dwellings per annum for the Local Plan during the period of 2011 – 2036.


Councillor Jermy was struck by the annual requirements for the number of affordable units had been set at 33% and asked how realistic this would be. The Senior Planning Policy Officer said the figure had been set across the whole of central Norfolk, and had not specifically been broken down for the Breckland area.  However, it was expected that 25% would be the highest level that could be achieved across Breckland. 

The Executive Member for Growth added that the Local Plan Working Group had examined the figure and were confident it could be achieved.

The Director of Planning and Building Control confirmed that the evidence base had demonstrated 25% would be achievable.  A viability assessment would be required by developers during the planning application to reflect this had been considered.


Councillor Jermy asked for assurances that 25% would be achieved.  The Strategic Planning Manager added that there could be occasions when a development site would be below the target, but this would be shown through the viability assessment.


Members AGREED to recommend the Central Norfolk Strategic Housing Market Assessment report to CABINET.


The Director of Planning and Building Control went onto present the Breckland Local Plan Pre-Submission report to Members explaining it had been shaped through a long process of public and stakeholder engagement and evidence gathering.

The primary aim of the Local Plan was to meet the need within Breckland for housing and associated employment and facilities.  A key part of the Council’s evidence base was the objectively assessed housing needs which had been provided by the Strategic Housing Market Assessment. 


The Local plan had been underpinned by a number of background reports and evidence.  The key elements of those such as the Habitat Regulations Assessment and the Duty to Co-operate statement were included as appendices to the report.  The evidence would be submitted to the planning inspectorate at the same time as the local plan.


Members were informed that the Mattishall section of the Local Plan had been updated to remove site LP[061]019 and had been correctly changed.  However it was still shown in Appendix H, and the error would be corrected before the plan was considered by Cabinet.


Councillor Clark congratulated the planning team on the large document.  He went onto ask if developers were specifically aware of the green infrastructure within the District.   The Executive Member for Growth said the 112 communities across the district had some elements of the green infrastructure and had been acknowledged within Dereham.

The Senior Planning Policy Officer added that Dereham had undertaken a Dereham Town wide study which had been included within the evidence base.  The Director of Planning and Building Control said the policy related to the whole District and was aware that more places would have these studies. 


Councillor Kybird noted that policy TH10 on Allotments had been replaced by ENV04, Open Space, Sport and Recreation, however this did not mention Allotments and this was something that had been lacking within the developments in Thetford.

The Director of Planning and Building Control said that the TH10 was a Thetford specific policy, but was still captured within the ENV04 as it was a public amenity space provided.  He agreed to modify the wording to ensure it included allotments.


Councillor Brame asked who considered the design criteria and how much weight could the planning department, and the Planning Committee put on the design.  The Director of Planning and Building Control said it was down to the applicant to assess the local area, and to have due regard for the design when submitting the plans.


Councillor T Monument highlighted that on Page 71 it referred to LP[025]023 Land off Shipdham Road, and this should be amended to Land off Swanton Road.


Councillor Duigan said Members should be wary of the design principles across the District, as a development within Thetford would look different within Dereham.


Councillor Richmond asked how he could motivate his parishes to accept development areas, especially with regard to allowing new builds within the village.  The Director of Planning and Building Control would expect to see new development to meet the local need.  He also added that the towns and villages had the option to put together a Neighbourhood Plan.


Members AGREED to recommend the Breckland Local Plan Pre-Submission publication document forward to CABINET.


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