Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 12)

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Henstead Hall Estate Ltd




Henstead Hall Estates Ltd




Mr T Wicks




Ralph Firman




Abbey Engineering




Zest Partnership




Express Care (Guest Services)

North Tuddenham



Abel Homes Ltd




R W Duffield Limited

Swanton Morley



Miss K Taylor




Mr Colin Smith




The Kilverstone 1989 Settlement




The Kilverstone 1989 Settlement




The Blakeney Park Settlement




Mr Hannant





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1:  3PL/2008/0026/F: Thetford: The Former Burrell House, Minstergate:  Proposed residential conversion consisting of 6 No apartments and 4 No townhouses for Henstead Hall Estates Ltd


This full application and the listed building application at Item 2 for the same site were presented to Members jointly.


This listed building was on the Buildings at Risk Register.


Members were shown photographs of this former factory, now part boarded up and with structural defects and elevations of the proposed conversion.  Windows at the front of the building would be retained.


The Town Council had no objections although they would prefer 10 parking spaces to be provided in place of the nine proposed.


The site was inside the Settlement Boundary and in the Conservation Area.  The principle of conversion was considered acceptable and the applications were recommended for approval.


Mr King (representing the applicant) was available to answer questions.


The Chairman asked why the windows at the rear of the building were not being retained as she considered they were inherently associated with a factory building and without them the integrity of the building would be lost.


The Historic Buildings Officer explained that the building had been listed in 1971 and put on the At Risk Register in the early 80s.  There had been many schemes proposed for this building over the past 20 years and none had come to fruition.  During that time it had been vandalised and set on fire.  The fabric of the building had decayed.  It was no longer structurally sound.


If the windows could be removed and re-used, possibly as partitions within the building, their context would be retained.  However, he considered that a balance had to be struck between retaining parts of the building and meeting modern day building regulation requirements. He thought that this was possibly the last opportunity for this building to be retained and re-used. 


Mr King confirmed that as the rear boundary was close to Nicholas House, Building Regulations restricted the permitted window area.  He did agree that the frames would be re-used within the building if possible.


A Member asked about outside space for the four townhouses and it was confirmed that there was almost none.


Another Member queried the safety of the retained front windows, being right on the street and asked if they could be protected from vandalism.  However they were made from cast iron and had small panes of glass which made them relatively strong.


Both applications were approved as recommended.


(b)       Item 2: 3PL/2008/0027/LB: Thetford: The Former Burrell House, Minstergate:  Proposed residential conversion consisting of 6 No apartments and 4 No townhouses for Henstead Hall Estates Ltd


Approved, see Minute No 78/08 (a) above.


(c)        Item 3:  3PL/2008/0114/O: Necton: Site Adjacent 18 Mill Street: Site for residential development for Mr T Wicks


This outline application for residential development, with only access to be considered, was the resubmission of a previous application refused on drainage grounds.


The application was accompanied by a full drainage scheme which had been checked by an Independent Consultant on behalf of the Council and was considered to be acceptable.


The previous application, now the subject of an appeal, had indicated a scheme for four houses, one of which would be positioned to the front of the site on what had previously been a pond.  The resubmission omitted this dwelling and included an indicative plan showing three single storey dwellings set further back in the site.  (The Inspector’s decision would resolve whether the previous pond area was a suitable site for a dwelling.)


The proposal included an extension to an existing footway across the site frontage and improvements to an existing ditch within the site.


The principle issue had been the drainage problem and as the submitted scheme was considered acceptable, the application was recommended for approval.


Mr Woodward representing the Parish Council commented that although the extension to the footway was a good idea it ended at a very sharp bend in the road.  He was also concerned that more development could only lead to more flooding problems.


Cllr Wilkin explained that although his address was 19 Mill Street, this was actually located at some distance from the site and on the opposite side of the road.  He had previously looked at the existing bungalow at 18 Mill Street on behalf of his son when it was for sale and had expressed an interest in buying it, but the property had been removed from the market.


He said that in ten years on the Development Control Committee this was the first time he had ever seen a crated drainage driveway and suggested that such extreme measures were needed because of the flooding problem.  Apart from that he commented on the narrowness of Mill Street and suggested that if permission were given the footway should be constructed, prior to the dwellings being built.


It was pointed out that although there may be a flooding problem in the area any new development could not be expected to resolve this.  However, the crated drainage system was proposed to ensure that the new dwellings did not suffer from flooding and to reduce their impact on the area.  Surface water would be collected in the system and released slowly by a valve into the ditch.


Discussion followed on the possible inclusion of a balancing pond on the site of the previous pond; on the possibility of re-using grey water within the site; and question possible liability if the development did flood. 


In conclusion a Member pointed out that as the Council had consulted a Drainage Consultant notice should be taken of the technical advice given.


Approved subject to an additional condition re slab levels and a legal agreement requiring the construction of the footway, prior to commencement of work on the dwellings.


(d)       Item 4: Snetterton: Chalk Lane: Erection of second and third (blocks A & C) single storey commercial units replacing Romney Huts for Ralph Firman


This full application for the demolition of two Romney Huts and replacement with two commercial units followed an earlier outline approval for three commercial units, one of which had already been constructed.


The new buildings would closely resemble the one already built.


An archaeological condition was proposed to address any historical interest on site.


Approved as recommended.


(e)       Item 5: Watton: Abbey Engineering, 123 Brandon Road, Watton: Residential Development for Abbey Engineering


Refused, see Minute No 74/08.


(f)         Item 6: Carbrooke: Site adjacent RAF Watton Base: Proposed 70 bed nursing home for Zest Partnership


Withdrawn, see Minute No 71/08.


(g)       Item 7: North Tuddenham: Land adjoining The Old Mine Bar, The Lodge, Main Road: Erection of new 40 bedroom residential nursing home for Express Care (Guest Services)


            Refused, see Minute No 76/08.


(h)        Item 8: Swaffham: Bernard Matthews Hatchery, Castle Acre Road: Demolition of redundant warehouse building and house for the erection of 51 dwellings for Abel Homes Ltd


Approved, see Minute No 77/08.


(i)         Item 9: Swanton Morley: South of Jacobs, Woodgate Lane: Proposed new dwelling and garage for R W Duffield Limited


Cllr Wilkin declared a personal interest in this item as he knew the applicant.


This full application for a new dwelling set 30m into the site with a garage to the front.  Outline permission had previously been granted on the site for a cottage style dwelling.


A neighbour had requested the reinstatement of a partially filled ditch on-site, but this was not considered to form part of the drainage system for the area.


A Member pointed out that the neighbour would not have bothered to write in if there was not a problem.  It was noted that a surface water condition was proposed if the application received approval.


Some Members found the design of the proposed dwelling uninspiring and not in keeping with the area.  However the Solicitor advised that the Committee must make their decision based on the acceptability of the proposal and not on personal taste.


Approved, as recommended.


(j)         Item 10: Hardingham: 67 Low Street: Parking space and vehicular access for Miss K Taylor


This full application proposed the provision of a parking space in front of the property to allow off-street parking.  The road had a 40 mph limit and visibility was poor due to bends in both directions.  The Parish Council and Norfolk County Council Highways objected on highway safety grounds and six letters of objection had been received.


Mrs Dunthorne speaking on behalf of the residents of Low Street, said that visibility was poor and traffic often exceeded the 40 mph speed limit.  She felt that there was insufficient space to park in the proposed space without obstructing the verge and said that a local landowner was willing to sell a strip of land to provide rear access to the property.


Mr Took, speaking on behalf of the agent, said that he understood the reason for Highway’s objection but that common sense should prevail.  The cottage had recently been modernised and was perfect for a first time buyer.  The young lady purchasing the property would have to use her car as there were no local facilities.  He believed a small car could park safely in the proposed parking area.  The only other option was to park on the road which was detrimental to highway safety.


Mr Jordan (Ward Representative) said this was a vexed problem.  It was a dangerous stretch of road which needed a 30 mph limit – but Highways did not consider it to be dangerous enough.  There were driveways either side of the site and visibility problems were the same in many villages.  He concluded by saying that residents considered that this extra drive would damage their quality of life.


Members discussed the dangers associated with parking on the road and the Development Services Manager pointed out the increased problem caused by reversing into or out of the driveway.


Approved, against the recommendation as it was considered safer to have the car parked off the road than on it.


(k)        Item 11:  Yaxham:  Down Ampney, Well Hill: Proposed link detached dwelling and garage for Mr Colin Smith


This full application proposed the sub-division of the garden and the erection of a linked chalet style dwelling.  There was a previous refusal on the site.  The use of obscure glazing at first floor level was designed to avoid overlooking.


The Parish Council objected on grounds that the proposal did not enhance the form and character of the area and on its impact on neighbours.  Various letters of objection had also been received.


Officers considered that the proposal was in keeping with the area, had a reasonable relationship with the existing dwelling and did not cause overlooking.  Therefore it was recommended for approval subject to conditions to avoid noise and disturbance during the construction phase.


Mr Jordan (Ward Representative) spoke on behalf of the Parish Council and Objectors and also on behalf of the Applicant.


He said that he had received two letters of objection this time as opposed to nine for the previously refused application.


The applicant had listened to previous comments of the Committee and worked hard to overcome previous objection.  He had moved the garage and provided plenty of parking for visitors.


The Chairman told Members that she considered they had achieved something as this proposal did not take up so much of the site as the previous one.  It was inside the Settlement Boundary and considered brownfield land by government policy.


A Member requested that a condition be added to prevent future extensions.


Approved, subject to an additional condition restricting permitted development rights.


(l)         Item 12: Kilverstone: Opposite Farm Gate Cottages, Adj Kilverstone Hall Farm Gate: Erection of estate agent’s advert board for commercial premises for The Kilverstone 1989 Settlement


Withdrawn, see Minute No 71/08


(m)      Item 13: Kilverstone: East of Norwich Road/A11 Roundabout: Erection of estate agent’s advertisement board for The Kilverstone 1989 Settlement


Withdrawn, see Minute No 71/08


(n)        Item 14: Kilverstone: Corner of Brettenham Road and Norwich Road: Erection of estate agent’s advertisement board for The Blakeney Park Settlement


Withdrawn, see Minute No 71/08


(o)       Item 15: Dereham: Springfield, Mattishall Road: Removal of agricultural condition for Mr Hannant


This application to remove the agricultural restriction attached to the dwelling followed a change in circumstances for the applicant.  He had previously worked a holding of approximately 55 acres, a large element of which was rented.  The current site was much reduced.  Following a serious head injury to the applicant he had been unable to work and had had to release the rented land. 


He had previously applied to have the restriction lifted and the condition had been varied to allow him and his wife to remain in the dwelling for their lifetime.  A further application to lift the restriction had been refused in March 2008.


This new application had been submitted as the mortgage company were applying a loading to their rates because of the restriction and the applicant felt he was being penalised.  He wished to convert the existing garage on site to an annexe for his daughter to live in and she would help out on the holding.


Having taken the applicant’s personal circumstances into consideration the application was recommended for refusal as no marketing campaign had been carried out to prove that there was no need for an agricultural dwelling in the area.


Mr Hannant explained that most of the land was in a family trust.  He was unable to make a living from it.  The land had lost money for the last five years.  Things had deteriorated since his accident, when he had been unable to work for eight months.  Since then he had to avoid stress and heavy manual work.  If the restriction was lifted he would be able to carry on.  As it was, due to the small size of the holding, it was no longer viable.


Mrs Monument (Ward Representative) spoke in support of the applicant.  She said he had worked hard for years and supplemented the farm with HGV driving but due to the accident he had lost his license.


He could not sell the property as a going concern as there was not enough land.  Other farms in the area were closed and empty.  There was not likely to be much demand for this property with the agricultural restriction, which was why the mortgage company were loading the premium.


Mr Griffin (Ward Member) had also written in supporting Mr Hannant.


A Member told the Committee that at a meeting of Dereham Town Council every member had voted in favour of Mr Hannant.  He also drew attention to a letter from Case & Dewing confirming that the holding was not viable.


The Chairman told Members they needed to be consistent.  On a previous application for another dwelling they had insisted that the property be advertised in line with policy.


Refused, as per recommendation.


(p)       Item 16: Swaffham: 108 London Street and 110 Brandon Road: Redevelopment to form 26 sheltered apartments, communal facilities, car parking and landscaping for The Planning Bureau


Mr Sharpe declared a personal and prejudicial interest in this item and left the room while it was discussed.


This full application proposed the demolition of two existing bungalows and the erection of sheltered one and two bedroom accommodation including a communal lounge and laundry, for occupants aged over 55.


The design of the proposed building gave it the appearance of three large houses facing the street.  The rear elevation showed a substantial building.


The building was cut into the site to reduce its impact however there were concerns of overlooking at either end.


The Parish Council had objected on terms of impact on the adjacent properties, highway safety and pressure on sewage system concerns.


Objections from others covered loss of habitat, inadequate parking and unsafe access.  Neighbours were also worried about noise and disturbance during construction.


Overall it was considered that the scheme did not enhance the area, due to its scale, design and massing; that neighbours would suffer a loss of amenity due to overlooking and because the developers had failed to enter into a legal agreement in respect of affordable housing although they had offered a discounted scheme for seven units.


Mr Butters representing the Town Council agreed with the officer’s comments and explained that the overlooking windows were in corridors so anyone would be able to stand and look out of them.


The Chairman commented that the developer usually provided good schemes but in this case she did not feel the design was in keeping at all.


Another Member said that although it was a big site the building was enormous and was more than half the site deep.  If the applicant’s were to come back to Committee proposing a smaller building he would be willing to support it.


Refused, as recommended.


Notes to the Schedule


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


Item No


1 & 2

Mr King – for Applicant


Mr Woodward – Parish Council


Mr Took - Agent


Mr Claussen – Ward Representative

Mr Stapleton – Parish Council

Mr Wingate – for Objector

Mr Sharpe - Agent


Mr Butters – Town Council

Mr Bird – for Applicant


Mr Jordan – Ward Representative

Mrs Dunthorne – Objector

Mr Took – for Agent


Mr Jordan – Ward Representative

Mr Smith - Applicant


Mrs Monument – Ward Representative

Mr Hannant - Applicant


Mr Butters – Town Council

Mr Broadhead – for Applicant

Report Item


Mr Butters – Town Council


Written representations taken into account


Reference No

No of Representations
























Supporting documents: