Agenda item

Toftwood: Land off Shipdham Road, Westfield Road and Westfield Lane: Reference: 3PL/2015/1490/O

This application was considered at the Planning Committee meeting of 15th January 2018 where it was resolved to refuse planning permission.

 

An extract of the minutes is set out below:

 

DECISION: Members voted 7 x 4 not to accept the Officer's recommendation of approval.

 

REASONS:

1. the intrusion of built development into the open countryside and the creation of a hard edge to the Town of Dereham; and

2. significant visual impact and harm to the character and appearance of the site and surrounding landscape.

 

DECISION: Members voted 5 x 5 (plus one abstention) not to accept the Officer's recommendation of approval and refuse the application.

 

The vote was tied 5 x 5. The Chairman was entitled to his casting vote and voted that the application be refused on the above stated two grounds together with a highway ground, including the impact of the junction on a 'C' Class road being used as an entrance/access point to the development. It was agreed that the final wording for the decision of refusal would be drafted by Officers in consultation with the Chairman.

 

The scheme has been under consideration since that time with a view to seeking to address concerns raised by Members.

Minutes:

Residential development for a maximum of 291 dwellings, link roads, open space and recreational space.  Amended proposal to include demolition of existing railway bridge at Westfield Lane and construction of a replacement two-way railway bridge (instead of traffic signalling works at the junction of South Green and Tavern Lane).

 

This application had been considered at the Planning Committee meeting on 15 January 2018 where it was refused planning permission for the following reasons:

 

1.     The intrusion of built development into the open countryside and the creation of a hard edge to the town of Dereham; and

2.     Significant visual impact and harm to the character and appearance of the site and surround landscape.

 

The vote had been tied, 5 x 5, and following the Chairman’s casting vote, the application was refused on the above stated grounds together with a highway ground, including the impact of the junction on a ‘C’ Class road being used as an entrance/access point to the development.

 

Members had received direct correspondence in relation to this application.  A letter of objection from George Freeman MP was read aloud, this was a follow on letter from the one he had written in January 2018. 

 

Councillor Dimoglou, a neighbouring Ward Representative for Yaxham, although in attendance, did not take part in the debate and left the room whilst this application was discussed.

 

Liz Poole, from Norfolk County Council Highways, was also in attendance.

 

Consideration was given to the report presented by Simon Wood, Interim Director of Planning.  It was noted that the proposal was for a maximum of 291 dwellings and not for a minimum of 291 dwellings as stated on the report.  It was further noted that the footway would form part of the bridge; there would not be a separate footpath.

 

Members considered the matter and fully explored the details of the application in light of prevailing policies and guidance.

 

Representations were made in respect of the application in accordance with the Council’s scheme of public speaking at Planning Committee meetings:

 

Dereham Town Council:                                 Tony Needham

 

Applicant’s Agent:                                           Jane Crichton & Philip Atkinson                                                                         (Lanpro)

 

Transport Consultant:                                     Simon Clewlow

 

Norfolk County Council Highways:                  Liz Poole                    

 

Neighbouring Ward Representative:               Cllr Linda Monument  

 

Yaxham Parish Council:                                  Peter Lowings (Chairman)

 

Objector:                                                         Philip Morton

 

Objector:                                                         Valerie Baker (on behalf of Toftwood                                                     Life Community)                                                                     

Objector:                                                         Michelle Parnell

 

DECISION: Members voted 6 x 4 for approval of a maximum of 291 dwellings as recommended; subject to the conditions as listed in the report; and a S106 Agreement to secure:

 

1)     the provision of onsite affordable housing at 40% (116 dwellings);

 

2)     contributions to Library services £17,460;

 

3)     contributions to local Primary Schools on a pro rata basis £980,089;

 

4)     public open space contribution;

 

5)     NHS contribution £91,740;

 

6)     the removal of the requirement for a payment of £182,500 for the restoration works to the River Tud - these works would now be undertaken as part of the scheme agreed via the Unilateral Undertaking;

 

7)     onsite open space totalling 12.63 hectare;

 

8)     offsite green space to be reverted to low density grazing land totalling 13ha;

 

9)     a roundabout to be constructed and open by the 50th built dwelling; and

 

10)  the railway bridge and footpath to be constructed and open by the 50th built dwelling – no works shall take place to the railway bridge known as ‘Bridge 1692’, until a detailed report recording the construction methods, materials and architectural details of the bridge has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority.

 

The Chairman thanked Tony Needham, Dereham Town Council for his excellent representation.  It was noted that the Town Council’s Sustainable Transport Study, in respect of cycle and footway links, which should be completed by December 2018, would be considered in relation to subsequent reserved matters applications.

Supporting documents: