Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 13)

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Iceni Developments




A F Machinery Ltd




David Wilson Homes Ltd




HDD RAF Watton Ltd




Anne Bustard




Mr M Lee

North Pickenham



Mr M Lee

North Pickenham




RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)         Item 1: 3PL/2007/1998/F: Watton: Former Doctors Surgery, St Giles Road: 2 and 3 storey apartment building comprising 14 units for Iceni Developments


This full application proposed the demolition of a disused former doctors’ surgery and its replacement with a contemporary apartment building.  Indicative drawings showed the relationship between the proposed building and the existing adjacent terrace of houses.


Officers considered the design of the building acceptable and the use of the site in line with Government guidance.


One objection from a local resident concerning overlooking would be overcome by the use of obscure glazing.


Concerns were raised about the security of the ground floor flats in particular, as French windows opened directly onto communal areas.


Mr Fuller, speaking for the applicants, suggested that the architects could address this problem, possibly with the use of Juliet balconies.


Some Members expressed a strong dislike of the building, particularly the flat roof. 


Mr Fuller explained that the flat roof was designed to reduce the bulk of the building and to keep its scale and massing in line with the adjacent terrace.


Refused, contrary to recommendation, on design grounds.


b)         Item 2: 3PL/2008/0161/F: Wretham: Part of agricultural holding field TL9288 2867, Larkshall: General purpose and potato storage buildings for A F Machinery Ltd


This full application sought permission for two large agricultural buildings adjacent an existing yard full of other such buildings.  This yard was too full to accommodate the new buildings and it was proposed to site these on land adjacent, separated from the existing by a belt of planting.


The two new buildings were needed as currently there was only storage for 25% of the potatoes produced by the applicant.  The general purpose building would be used to store machinery and equipment to address a security problem experienced at the site.  There had already been £20,000 worth of thefts from the site this year.


Approved as recommended.


c)         Item 3: 3PL/2008/0162/D: Carbrooke and Griston: Part of Former Technical Site, RAF Watton: Erection of 113 No dwellings, garages, access road and associated highway works for David Wilson Homes Ltd


This application for approval of reserved matters closely followed the previously approved Design Framework.


The layout proposed a formal more urban character close to the spine road and in contrast a more spacious, generously landscaped broken edge to the development adjacent to the airfield.


Members were shown ‘streetscene’ elevations and a site plan showing the road layout, open spaces and mews courts.


The Highway Authority had raised many concerns and requested more bends in the road.  However that would compromise the layout and other traffic calming methods were preferred.  Highways had also expressed concern that the parking areas provided would not be used, leading to on-street parking.


Following comments from the police the security of the parking courts had been improved with windows overlooking and rear access to dwellings being blocked.  Rear fences had been lowered in height and topped by trellis to allow views of the parking courts.  Garden privacy was partially compromised but this alleviated the sense of intimidation created by enclosed spaces, making the courts more user-friendly.


Mr Biggs was in attendance to answer questions on behalf of the applicants.


Members were concerned that people preferred to park in front of their houses.  There was discussion on ways of preventing on-street parking. 


It was pointed out that the aim of the spine road had been to provide continuous development and to avoid a landscape dominated by cars.  The only way to achieve a mix of character areas within the site and to get vehicles away from front gardens was to provide these parking areas.


Approved as recommended.


d)         Item 4:  3PL/2008/0234/D: Carbrooke: Neighbourhood Centre, Blenheim Grange, (Former RAF Watton), Norwich Road: New local centre development (five retail units and 22 flats) for HDD RAF Watton Ltd


This item was considered in conjunction with Agenda Item 12 (see Minute No 62/08 above).


e)         Item 5: 3PL/2008/0363/O: Caston: The White House, The Street: Demolition of existing dwelling and replacement of 6 private and 2 affordable dwellings for Anne Bustard


This was an outline application with issues of siting and access to be considered.  The proposal was to demolish the existing house and to build eight dwellings on the site, six four-bedroom detached marketable units and two three-bedroom affordable units.


The existing house was not considered to be of listable quality by the Council’s Historic Buildings Officer.  However, an objector had contacted English Heritage directly, requesting them to assess the property and they would be visiting the site soon.  Any recommendation they might make would take time to be sanctioned therefore it was suggested that if approval were given a condition could be included that the house was not demolished before reserved matters approval was granted, by which time it was expected that English Heritage would have made a decision.


A number of letters and a petition of 96 signatures had been received in opposition to the proposal.  Two letters and a petition with over 130 signatures had been received in support.  However it was noted that only one of the supporting petition signatories lived in the village.


Mr Smith, an objector, spoke against the application.  He raised concerns about the over development of the site and highway safety.  He did not feel the development was in character and urged Members to protect the village.


Mr Haggett, another objector, showed a photograph showing recent flooding at the access to The White House.  He told Members that the site was a wildlife sanctuary providing a buffer between agricultural land and the village.  The ditch running along the front of the site was a known water vole habitat. 


Mr Chapman, speaking on behalf of the Parish Council told Members that development of the site would be out of keeping with the wishes of the Parish Council and residents of the village.  He suggested that the development would be more appropriate in an urban area and that the village wished to retain its linear form.  He confirmed that there were on-going flooding problems in the area.  He said that the development was out of keeping with the Parish Council’s future vision for the village and concluded by imploring the Committee to refuse the application.


Mr Taylor, Agent for the application, told Members that the application followed months of discussion.  They had worked closely with officers. Environmentally friendly measures had been included in the scheme to mitigate drainage problems.  He said that the development would provide family homes which would help to ensure the future of Caston School.  He concluded by saying there was no policy objection and a clear local need for more housing.


The Chairman told Members that this was not a clear case for approval.  The site was in a prominent location at the entrance to the village and it failed to enhance.  More hardstanding could only lead to more drainage problems.


A Member commented that the existing house was exactly the sort of building that gave character to a village. 


Another Member pointed out that it was not the Council’s policy to add to small villages and that this form of development was not sustainable.


Members voted unanimously against the recommendation for approval.


Refused as being detrimental to the entrance to the village and for its failure to enhance the form and setting of the area.


f)          Item 6: 3PL/2008/0385/F: North Pickenham: Land adjacent Blue Lion PH, Houghton Lane: Erection of 4 bedroom detached dwelling with integral garage for Mr M Lee


This outline application and the listed building application at Item 7 for the same site were presented to Members jointly.


A detached dwelling was proposed on land adjacent the Blue Lion Public House.  There were two previously dismissed appeals on the site for similar proposals.  The appeals were dismissed because the Inspector considered that the existing group of historic buildings around the open space were important to the character of the area.


It was considered that the proposal failed to meet the policy requirement for development to enhance the form and character of the area and to preserve and not harm the setting of listed buildings.


Mr Lee spoke on behalf of the Agents.  He explained that they had held discussions with a planning officer prior to submitting the application and had been led to believe that with amendments the proposal would receive officer recommendation.  These amendments had been incorporated and included changes to design, scale to match the proportions of adjacent buildings, materials sympathetic to the area and the retention of car parking for the Blue Lion Public House.  He considered that views to the church were still available and pointed out that other dwellings had been approved on nearby open land.


Mrs Ball, Ward Representative spoke against the application.  She was sorry to object as she considered Mr Lee was the best landlord the village pub had had.  She explained that the Parish Council were trying to raise the money to purchase this piece of land to ensure that views to the historic church, which was about to be renovated, were retained.


Both applications were Refused as recommended.


g)         Item 7: 3PL/2008/0391/LB: North Pickenham: Land adjacent Blue Lion Public House, Houghton Lane: Erection of 4 bedroom detached property with integral garage within the cartilage of listed building


See Minute No 63/08(f) above.


Notes to the Schedule


The following persons were in attendance to speak on the following items:


Item No


Deferred Item

Dr Kobylecki – Applicant

Mr Horn - Resident


Mr Fuller – For Applicant


Mr Biggs – For Applicant


Mr Chapman – Parish Council

Mr Smith – Objector

Mr Haggett – Objector

Mr Taylor - Agent

6 & 7

Mrs Ball – Ward Representative

Mr Lee - Applicant


Written representations taken into account


Reference No

No of Representations







and 2 petitions






Supporting documents: