Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 11)

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Mr Mark Porter

North Lopham



Richard Johnston Ltd




Dam Green Services Ltd

North Lopham



Mrs M Vince




McCarthy & Stone (Devs)




Mr Christopher Bottrell




Cofton Ltd




Richard Johnston Ltd




Swaffham Gospel Hall Trust





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as followed:


(a)       Item 1: 3PL/2008/0384/F: North Lopham: Meadow Farm House, The Street:  Proposed Replacement Dwelling for Mr Mark Porter


This item was considered in conjunction with Schedule Item 3 for the conversion and extension of an ancillary building.


An existing barn on the site already had planning permission for conversion to a dwelling and work was underway.  There was also permission for two new dwellings on adjacent plots one of which was under construction.


This resubmission showed a simpler design and the Historic Buildings Officer had withdrawn his previous design objection but still objected on the grounds of failure to enhance due to scale and massing.


Members were shown a video of the site showing the existing buildings under construction and the relationship of the buildings on site to each other and to the access.  The existing farmhouse and the ancillary building proposed for conversion were in very close proximity to each other.  The proposed replacement farmhouse would be a little further away, but a much bigger building.


Both applications were recommended for refusal.


Mr Frith representing the Parish Council endorsed the recommendations.  He was concerned at the lack of garaging for both properties and considered that the conversion would be inappropriate and out of place, as it would be surrounded by much larger dwellings.  The conversion would destroy the community feel of the development, whereas the retention of the outbuilding with the farmhouse would preserve this.


Mr Plummer, the Agent, explained that the replacement farmhouse had been designed on a grander scale to dominate the site.  The conversion would provide a much-needed, low-cost, environmentally friendly dwelling.  Drainage problems would be addressed by the use of a new treatment plant.  Trees would be retained and new hedgerow planted.  The design was felt to be well suited to represent the historical context of the site.


Mr Nunn (Ward Representative) told Members that this was a controversial site.  He was not against re-development and did not have a problem with the farmhouse being re-built, but was concerned about the conversion.  He was not against its use as an annexe but felt that as a separate unit it would be out of context surrounded by larger dwellings.  He acknowledged that it was a difficult decision to be made.


The Chairman told Members that she did not have a problem with the replacement farmhouse, however, with a 5/6 bedroom house with no garage or outbuildings she wondered where things like bikes and lawn mowers would be kept.  She concluded that if the ancillary building was kept with the farmhouse she would not have a problem with the development.


Other Members were not concerned with the lack of garaging.


Members voted unanimously against the recommendation to refuse the replacement farmhouse.


Item 1 was: Approved, contrary to recommendation as the proposal fitted the scale of the new development in the vicinity.


Item 3 was:  Refused, as recommended.


(b)       Item 2: 3PL/2008/0419/F: Snetterton: Chalk Lane: Erection of light industrial/commercial units for Richard Johnston Ltd


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


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) showed Members a map of the two areas of land for the proposed development.  These areas of vacant land had been created by the new road layout at the junction with Chalk Lane and the A11.


The defined employment area of Snetterton was all to the south of the A11.  These two sites were to the north, but related well to existing employment areas immediately adjacent and therefore fitted in with the overall policy for the area.


The buildings were well designed and of a reasonably high standard.  Mature trees on the sites would be kept and the parking and access had been designed to avoid disturbance to tree roots.


A Member asked what sort of business would use the units, but this was not known as they were likely to be let by the applicant.


Approved, as recommended.


(c)        Item 3: 3PL/2008/0481/F: North Lopham: Meadow Farm Barn, Tanns Lane, The Street: Renovation and extension of ancillary building to become two bedroom dwelling, involving change of use for Dam Green Services Ltd


Refused, as recommended (See (a) above).


(d)       Item 4: 3PL/2008/0502/F: Bylaugh: The Old Orchard, Bylaugh Hall: Change of use of existing residence to health and fitness centre with proposed extensions for Mrs M Vince


Deferred see Minute No 88/08.


(e)       Item 5: 3PL/2008/0506/F: Attleborough: 25 Queens Road: 38 sheltered apartments for elderly plus communal facilities – category II type accommodation for McCarthy & Stone (Devs)


This full application to provide 38 sheltered units for the over 55s was situated in a mixed use area close to the town centre.


The site level was approximately one metre above street level and the buildings would be set into the ground to reduce the effect of their scale and bulk.  The design was considered to make a positive contribution to the street scene.


The proposal was for two and a half storey development to the road frontage, rising to three storeys adjacent to the Lidl store and two storeys to the rear of the site.


13 car park spaces were provided together with ‘buggy’ and bin storage areas. 


The Town Council had no objection but raised concern about the number of parking spaces to be provided and had asked for contributions to town facilities.  Norfolk County Council were also seeking financial contributions to library, bus stop and bus services.


An affordable housing contribution was required and it had been agreed to provide this by way of discounting some units.  The Housing Enabling and Projects Officer was in attendance to answer any questions.


Members were recommended to approve the application subject to a legal agreement, but to authorise refusal if this was not signed by 24 June 2008.


Mr Raferty (Agent) told Members that the Heads of Terms for the legal agreement had been broadly agreed but that more information was awaited from Norfolk County Council concerning their requirements.


He explained that the units were not aimed at the able bodied and therefore experience showed that the parking provision was adequate. 


The scheme had been designed to screen the Lidl store and to pick up on adjacent properties.  It was an exciting scheme in partnership with a Registered Social Landlord.


Members asked about the financial contributions and wanted to know if they would definitely be spent in Attleborough.  The Development Services Manager confirmed that the Council was normally notified of where the money was spent.


A Member asked how many affordable units would be provided.  The Housing Enabling and Projects Officer said that 30% was sought.  This would be dependant on eligibility criteria.  The scheme would be run by Breckland Housing Association.  


In lieu of a commuted sum (£450,000) the Council would be able to discount the cost of the units to those eligible for assistance.


The legal agreement would remain in perpetuity, unless lifted and therefore its terms would apply to future occupants of the units.


A Member commented that she would hate to see this development held up because of problems with the legal agreement as she was keen for it to go ahead.


Approved as recommended but if the S106 is not signed by 24June, the officers be authorised to refuse the application as not being in compliance with the policy requirements to be dealt with through the S106.


(f)         Item 6: 3PL/2008/0509/CU: Harling: 1 Cloverfield Industrial Estate, Lopham Road: Change of use of first floor only from B1 business to A1 shop (Retrospective) for Mr Christopher Bottrell


This was fundamentally the same as an application previously refused by Committee.  The Parish Council and neighbours were still objecting to the proposal.


The applicant was offering to accept conditions on hours of opening, making the permission personal to himself and only allowing temporary permission, giving the Committee the opportunity to monitor the effect of the use. 


Officers considered that the issues were finely balanced.  As the applicant only expected about six visitors a day, it was not felt that the scale and nature of the use would impact upon the village.


Mr Taylor, an objector speaking on behalf of himself and Mrs Burton, reminded Members that they had agreed with concerns raised when refusing the previous application and suggested that the applicant look elsewhere.  However, he had been trading in the meantime.  Members were shown a photograph of a sign outside the shop and also a newspaper advertisement for the shop.  The police had been called to the property the previous week.


Mr Taylor also told Members that an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness by the applicant had been withdrawn when supporting evidence had been found to be fraudulent.  He urged Members to turn down the application.


Refused, contrary to recommendation, on the grounds of unsustainable location, inadequate parking and setting a precedent.


(g)       Item 7: 3PL/2008/0546/F: Carbrooke and Griston: Former RAF Watton Technical Site, Norwich Road: Variation of condition 17 (regarding roundabout access) on planning permission 3PL/2005/0476/F for Cofton Ltd


Withdrawn - see Minute No 88/08.


(h)        Item 8: 3PL/2008/0575/F: Snetterton and Quidenham: Harling Road: Process and storage building for Richard Johnston Ltd


Deferred - see Minute No 88/08.


(i)         Item 9: 3PL/2008/0702/F: Ashill: Watton Road: Erection of gospel hall and associated parking and landscaping for Swaffham Gospel Hall Trust


This was a resubmitted application following a previous refusal by Committee on 7 April 2008.  Members had accepted the proposal in principle but requested an amended design.


The external appearance of the building had been improved by the addition of doors, windows and roof lights.


Mr McWilliams and Mr Wood were in attendance for the applicants and were pleased to submit this amended application which they felt fully addressed Members’ previous concerns and allowed natural light and ventilation as well as providing an additional fire escape to the rear of the building.


A Member asked about the communal fishing lake on the property and was assured that it would remain open to the public at all times.


Approved as recommended.


Notes to the Schedule


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


Item No


1 & 3

Mr Nunn – Ward Representative

Mr Frith – Parish Council

Mr Plummer - Agent


Mr Rafferty - Agent


Mr Taylor - Objector

Mrs Burton - Objector


Mr McWilliams – for Applicant

Mr Wood – for Applicant

Deferred Item


Mr Horn - Objector

Mr Took - Agent


Written representations taken into account


Reference No

No of Representations










Supporting documents: