Agenda item

Deferred Items (Agenda Item 8)

To consider applications deferred at previous meetings including some, but not all, of those shown on the attached Schedule of Deferred Applications.


a)         Great Ellingham: Old Hall Farm: Agricultural Dwelling for Poultry Worker for P J Southgate Ltd: Reference 3PL/2007/1722/F


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) explained that Members had previously approved this application, subject to a legal agreement ensuring that the dwelling was not built before the poultry unit had been constructed, and that the dwelling was not occupied before the poultry unit had been brought into use.


The Applicant had requested that construction of the dwelling could commence prior to completion of the construction of the poultry unit, to ensure that the manager could be resident on-site as soon as the poultry unit was up-and-running.


It was pointed out that the applicant had invested a considerable sum in the development already and photographs were displayed showing that the poultry unit was indeed under construction.  It was therefore considered that the requirement for a legal agreement could be replaced by an agricultural occupancy condition and another condition only permitting the dwelling to be occupied once the poultry unit was brought into use.


A Member thought that the legal agreement had also been intended to tie the dwelling to the unit.  It was felt that there was a need to clarify this point.  The meeting was adjourned whilst the minutes from the previous meeting were checked.


The meeting reconvened at 11.00 am and Members were shown the minutes of the previous meeting.  It was confirmed that the legal agreement for this dwelling and unit had only applied to the timing of construction and use.


RESOLVED that the requirement for a legal agreement be removed and permission granted with additional conditions added concerning agricultural occupancy and the timing of occupation of the dwelling.


b)         North Elmham: Site adjacent 7 Station Road: Proposed Residential Development Site for Land & New Homes: Reference: 3PL/2007/1688/O


The Chairman declared a prejudicial interest in this item as she had relatives who lived next door to the site.  She left the room.  Mr W Borrett declared a personal interest as a member of the Committee for Fakenham Racecourse.


The Vice-Chairman assumed the Chair.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) presented this report.  The application had been deferred for additional information on the items listed.  This information had been received and he outlined its content.


Drainage Despite local concerns, Anglian Water had confirmed that the existing sewage system was adequate to deal with the additional output of the proposed development.


Railway Crossing and Highway Issues Further plans had been submitted and were shown to Members.  These proposed improvements to access and footways including the Level Crossing gates being set back to improve visibility splays and a new footway being added across the site frontage, this would narrow the existing roadway, but a six metre width would be maintained, which was acceptable to Norfolk County Council Highways.


Design & Layout The indicative site layout plan and Design and Access Statements had been amended.  The new plan showed zones to be developed and the statement set out a framework.  The route for the access road through the site had been changed to provide separation between the railway line and existing businesses and the new housing proposed.  This housing was considered to reflect the character of the area and to provide a good mix of apartments, terraced, semi-detached and detached housing.


Noise Concerns had been raised about the possible re-opening of the adjacent railway line and of noise from the existing commercial premises (which included a motorcycle repair workshop).  These had been partially addressed by changing the route of the access road through the site to provide a ‘buffer’ between the railway and commercial premises and the new development and also to allow space for additional screening (planting/fencing).


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) concluded with a recommendation that the application be approved subject to conditions and a legal agreement concerning affordable housing and contributions to local services.


The following speakers were in attendance for this item:


·                    Mr S Banning, Applicant

·                    Mr Bailey, Agent

·                    Mr Thompson, Supporter


Mr Banning (speaking on behalf of himself and Mr Bailey) explained that the scheme had been carefully re-worked to address concerns raised previously by Members.  It represented an efficient use of the site in terms of density and would benefit the village, if approved, by providing safer site access and enhanced pedestrian footways as well as a financial contribution towards local services.


Mr Thompson gave Members a brief history of the site explaining that it had been used in recent years for agricultural storage and at the peak of that use, generated 250 vehicle movements per day.  Due to changes in agriculture the site had become available for redevelopment.  If approved, the development would provide up to 50% of the highlighted need for affordable housing in North Elmham.


A Member asked what would happen to the existing access from the site to the land beyond and was told that it would no longer be used.


Another Member questioned the likelihood of the railway being brought back into use and the effect that this might have on any future development.  Concerns were expressed on the parking provision available for any expansion to the railway.


The Principle Planning Officer (Major Projects) pointed out that the land did not belong to Mid Norfolk Railways, (owners of the railway line) and so was not available to them for use as parking.  He also explained that although he knew of proposals to add a platform and ticket office to North Elmham Station, this work would not require the benefit of planning permission as the railway had permitted development rights for such works.


It was confirmed that there was no intention for North Elmham to become a terminus.  The line currently ran from Dereham to County School and the long term intention was for it to terminate at Fakenham.


The Solicitor clarified that there were no concrete proposals for the station and that as none of the land was in the ownership of the railway it would not be possible to impose conditions on it.


RESOLVED that the application be deferred and the Development Services Manager be authorised to approve it with conditions including a noise condition, on completion of a S106 agreement dealing with the matters set out in the report.


The Chairman rejoined the meeting and re-took the Chair.


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