Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9)

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Mr V Somers




Gorgate Ltd




Peddars Way Housing Association




Location 3 Properties Ltd & Sultans




Mrs S Nicholls




Mr T Eames




Mr B G Walker





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1: 3PL/2008/1302/F: Dereham: Land to the North and South of A47 Trunk Road: Erection of petrol filling stations, restaurant and motel with associated parking and access for Mr V Somers


This application was for the development of identical facilities on either side of the A47 trunk road (with layouts handed). 


The sites had been the subject of various approvals over the last 15 years and the most recent permission had expired on 18 December 2008 despite efforts to make a start.


Concerns raised by the Policy Section had been overcome by the provision of a Statement of Need for the facilities; a reduction in parking provision; and an increase in the amount of landscaping to be provided.


The Agent apologised that the Committee had to consider this application again as there had been a delay in receiving the Section 278 Notice from the Highways Authority.  Amendments had been made to the ingress and access points and the Section 278 Notice was expected soon and it was hoped that work could commence immediately as end users were ready and willing to occupy the site.


A Member asked if the north site would be accessed from the old A47 and it was confirmed that although there was a link there was no intention to utilise this for commercial use.  It was also confirmed that there would be no overnight HGV parking on site.


Approved, as recommended.


(b)       Item 2: 3PL/2008/1305/F: Scarning and Dereham: Riverside Garden Centre, Old Swaffham Road: Provision of 615 sqm retail/commercial space with 14 flats above (over 2 floors) and 14 car parking spaces to rear for Gorgate Ltd


This application sought permission to demolish an existing building and erect a block containing four retail units at ground floor level and 14 flats in two storeys above.  The convenience store on site would remain.


Objections had been received from local residents concerning various issues including an access dispute.   More details had been sought concerning this dispute but it was not considered to be a significant planning issue.


The design and position of the building was considered acceptable and would not significantly compromise the amenity of neighbouring properties.  Following concerns raised, the bin store had been re-sited.


The Council would control the opening hours of the retail units to ensure minimum disturbance and the 10% on-site renewable energy requirement would be conditioned.


Mr Moran, objector, was taking legal advice with regard to the access dispute.  He said the road was not suitable for heavy vehicles and insufficient parking spaces could lead to obstruction of the access road.  He was also concerned about potential problems with waste from the residential and retail units; overlooking of bedrooms and gardens in the adjacent residential development because of the height of the proposal; and the disproportionate scale and inappropriate siting.


Mr Cross, applicant, was sure he could prove his access rights to the site.  Sufficient parking had been provided and he thought the tidying up of the site would be a benefit to the area.


The Chairman, speaking as Ward Representative, said that she had been contacted by several residents who were concerned about potential parking problems if the development was permitted.  She thought that the design would suit the town centre rather than this edge of settlement position where it would appear imposing.


Clarification of the access concerns was sought and the Solicitor advised Members that a condition could be attached restricting occupation of the flats until access rights had been confirmed.


Approved, as recommended.


(c)        Item 3: 3PL/2008/1438/F: Harling: 19 Jubilee Avenue: Demolish existing houses (19 and 20) to create access and construction of 13 new two storey houses in 5 blocks for Peddars Way Housing Association


This application for development of a parcel of former garden / vacant land and the demolition of two empty dwellings to provide access from Jubilee Avenue would provide 100% affordable housing to meet an identified local need in Harling.


Members were shown plans, photographs and a video of the site and surrounding area.


Two of the new houses had been designed to reflect the style of those to be demolished.  The others were of traditional style and materials with a contemporary twist.


The setting of the adjacent listed buildings in The Crescent was an important factor and had led to objections from the Council’s Historic Buildings Officer and Tree and Countryside Officer.  This was a sensitive issue and needed careful consideration.


Changes had been made to address concerns, including the introduction of a green area to provide a buffer between The Crescent and the new development. 


Some overlooking of adjacent properties would occur but they were already overlooked by a footpath which ran along the edge of the site.  This footpath was owned by Breckland Council and a suggestion had been made to divert it, through the new development, to improve security.


Local concerns had been raised regarding traffic issues.  Amendments had been submitted which overcame the Highway Authority’s objections and these had been withdrawn.


On balance the proposal was considered acceptable by the officers.


Mr Burton, objector, said that Jubilee Avenue was family orientated and children currently had a safe area to play, but this would be lost.  The entrance to the Avenue was opposite the primary school and the development would put children’s safety at risk.  The proposed development was not in keeping with the area and a more suitable site was available.


Miss Handford, representing the Housing Association, said that the proposal was in line with Policy.  Only three of the houses were required to be affordable but because of the high local need all would be delivered as social housing.  Funding was available to progress the development and this might be lost if permission was refused.


Mr Wells, the Agent, said they had worked hard to improve the safety of the access for both new and existing residents.  The scheme would improve the provision of open space and would not adversely impact on The Crescent.


Lady Fisher, Ward Representative, acknowledged the local need for social housing and referred to 10 dwellings recently granted permission.  She felt the site provided a pleasant backdrop to the existing dwellings and provided an area for wildlife.  The development would not preserve or enhance the Conservation Area.


Mr Kemp, Ward Representative, explained that The Crescent was the last development of clay lump buildings in the country.  It was very peaceful and quiet, as was Jubilee Avenue.  The development would upset the ambience of the area.  The traffic situation was alarming and noise levels would increase. 


The Development Services Manager pointed out that the site did not fall within a Conservation Area.


Members discussed the close proximity of two of the proposed units to The Crescent and the loss of the spacious appearance of the area. 


Refused, contrary to recommendation, because of the impact on the Listed Buildings, failure to enhance, poor layout and density not in keeping with the area.


(d)       Item 4: 3PL/2008/1497/F: Thetford: Former Sultans Site, London Road/Burrell Way: Erection of non-food retail warehouse (A1) and external garden centre, associated access, servicing, car park and landscaping for Location 3 Properties Ltd and Sultans


This application had been deferred, see Minute No 5/09.


(e)       Item 5: 3PL/2008/1557/CU: Watton: 5 North Road: Change of use of land to garden area and erection of one metre high fence for Mrs S Nicholls


This application proposed the incorporation of a strip of grassed land into the garden and its enclosure with a one metre high fence.  A previous application had been refused because of the loss of a prominent open space.  The applicant had provided photographic evidence of other properties in the area where land had been incorporated.


Objectors to the proposal had also provided photographic evidence of other properties where open space had been maintained.


Mrs Nicholls, applicant, explained that she wanted to enclose the land to make a safe area for her children to play.  The garden was opposite a large green area which people used and would not therefore cause a loss of amenity.


A Member supported the Town Council’s objection and said this had been a well designed estate with plenty of open space and it should be retained as such.


Refused, contrary to recommendation, on the same grounds as the previous application – detriment to the area and loss of amenity.


(f)         Item 6: 3PL/2008/1576/F: Mattishall: The Barn, Walnut Tree Farm, Mill Road: Proposed conversion of barn to dwelling for Mr T Eames


Members were shown photographs of the buildings to be converted.  Officers had no objection to the conversion of the main, two storey barn which was in relatively good condition.  However, the rest of the proposal involved new build and was therefore not considered conversion under policy PPS 7.


Mr Eames, applicant, gave a brief history of the farm which had been in his family’s ownership since the 1960s.  Following the death of their father the farm had been inherited by the three children, then aged 18, 19 and 20.  They had sold the original farmhouse for financial reasons. 


Mr Eames now had the funds to convert the barn and wanted to bring it up to a standard to balance the new farmhouse that had been erected.  During the time that the buildings had been advertised for commercial re-use, the roof of one had collapsed. 


Mr Rose, Ward Representative, said it was a shame there weren’t more photographs to show the state of the site.  It had been an eyesore for some time and the whole community were in favour of it being cleaned up.  He felt the single storey rebuild would compliment the new property which had replaced the old farmhouse, and be a planning gain.


Another Member felt it would be a dreadful shame if this traditional Norfolk building could not be converted.


Approved, contrary to recommendation, as the proposal enhanced the form and character of the area and maintained an attractive group of farm buildings.


(g)       Item 7: 3PL/2008/1581/O: Mundford: 24 Fir Close: Construction of one bungalow and detached garage for Mr B G Walker


Mr Francis declared a personal interest in this item.


This outline application followed a previous refusal which was the subject of an appeal.  All matters were reserved, however an indicative plan had been provided showing the dwelling and garage in part of the rear garden and accessed from the existing drive to Nazer Close.


Officers did not consider that sufficient amenity space had been provided for either the existing or the proposed dwelling and it was also considered an unacceptable cramped, backland development.  It was therefore recommended for refusal.


Mr Walker, applicant, had asked the Parish Council what they considered acceptable before submitting his application.  He had used the footprint of an existing approval to provide the indicative plan and said that this was identical to other developments already approved.


Members acknowledged that there was already backland development in the area, but considered that this would be over-development.


Refused, as recommended.


Notes to the Schedule


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


Item No



Mr Middleton – Agent

Mr Holliwell - Agent


Mr Moran – Objector

Mr Cross - Applicant


Lady Fisher – Ward Representative

Mr Kemp – Ward Representative

Mr Burton – Objector

Mrs Tarft – Objector

Mr  Wells – Agent

Ms Handford – Housing Association


Mrs Nicholls - Applicant


Mr Eames – Applicant

Mr Moulton - Agent


Mr Walker - Applicant

Agenda Item 8a

Mr Barron – Parish Council

Mr Hopkinson – Objector

Mr Hopkins – Agent


Written representations taken into account


Reference No

No of Representations










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