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TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr A Fitch-Tillett, Cllr V Holliday, Cllr N Pearce and Cllr M Taylor.
Cllr H Blathwayt was present as a substitute for Cllr V Holliday with Cllr J Rest present as a substitute for Cllr A Fitch-Tillett.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on Thursday 8th December and Thursday 22nd December 2022.
The Minutes of the Development Committee meetings held on the 8th and 22nd December were approved as a correct record.
ITEMS OF URGENT BUSINESS
(a) To determine any other items of business which the Chairman decides should be considered as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.
(b) To consider any objections received to applications which the Head of Planning was authorised to determine at a previous meeting.
Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests that they may have in any of the following items on the agenda. The Code of Conduct for Members requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest. Members are requested to refer to the attached guidance and flowchart.
Cllr A Brown declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 8, PF/21/3458, and noted that Members had been in receipt of communication from the applicants agent. With respect of item 12, LA/22/0542, Cllr A Brown advised he was the Local Ward Member.
Cllr L Withington declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 8, PF/21/3458, and advised that she had attended a site meeting a few years prior but did not consider herself pre-determined.
Fulmodeston - PF/21/3458 - Erection of two one-bed tree houses with external works and servicing (to include biorock drainage system and solar panels) at Land at Woodland, Browns Covert, Hindolveston Road, Fulmodeston PDF 511 KB
FULMODESTON - PF/21/3458 - ERECTION OF TWO ONE-BED TREE HOUSES WITH EXTERNAL WORKS AND SERVICING (TO INCLUDE BIOROCK DRAINAGE SYSTEM AND SOLAR PANELS) AT LAND AT WOODLAND, BROWNS COVERT, HINDOLVESTON ROAD, FULMODESTON
The SPO – JS introduced the Officers report and recommendation for refusal. She advised that the application was for the provision of two self-contained treehouses within Swanton Novers Wood on the Astley Estate to be used as visitor accommodation as part of a proposed farm diversification and tourism venture scheme.
The Case Officer outlined the site location which was contained within a current commercial woodland for timber extraction, and the proposals relationship with its setting including proximity of the Swanton Great Wood and Little Wood. The SPO- JS highlighted the floor plan and proposed elevations for each of the treehouses, and commented on the use of materials consisting of galvanised steel frame, large, glazed openings on the south east and north west elevations where the solid external element (kitchen and bathroom pods) are externally clad with larch.
The SPO-JS offered photographs to better inform the Committees understanding of the site, its viability from the meadow and public right of way. With respect of access to the site, the Case Officer advised that parking was not proposed to be adjacent to the units, rather it was some 220m away. Once cars had parked off the main drive from the Hindleveston Road, it was proposed that wheel barrows be made available to guests to transport belongings. Access to both tree houses followed pre-existing logging tracks.
In conclusion, the SPO-JS reiterated the Officer recommendation for refusal, and advised that the proposal was considered contrary to policy EC7, EC1, SS4 EN2, EN 4, EN 9 and CT5 of the North Norfolk Core Strategy, paragraphs 105, 130, 134 and 174 of the NPPF and the principles set out in the North Norfolk Landscape Character Assessment 20221 and the North Norfolk Design Guide.
Lord Hastings – Supporting
Members questions and debate
i. The Local Member – Cllr V FitzPatrick – thanked Officers for their work on the application, but disagreed with their assessment for refusal. He contended that the application title of ‘treehouse’ belittles the intention to offer off-grid, sustainable holiday accommodation, and having attended the site, he argued that the Development would add interest and usage to the woodland site. With regard to its location, he contended that whilst it was situated away from services, this was part of the holiday homes attraction as a secluded, tranquil location which arguably wouldn’t work in an urbanised setting. Further, Cllr V FitzPatrick placed weight on the sustainable intentions of the proposal both in its construction and intended mode of operation, and in the economic development which would provide the Astley estate another, diversified, income stream during challenging economic times, supporting the development of the estates low impact farming methods, increase its biodiversity and increase its woodland. The Local Member considered that the proposal would help to place North Norfolk on the map ... view the full minutes text for item 96.
The SPO – JB introduced the Officers report and recommendation for approval subject to conditions. He established the location of the site, its relationship with neighbouring businesses, site plan, elevations and dimensions of the car ports. It was considered that the impact of the Norfolk Coast AONB was minimised with the proposal being suitably obscured by the Reef Leisure Centre.
Whilst the application may not be valued for its visual merits, it was considered significant for its positive impact and alignment with the Councils Climate Emergency declaration and green aims, offering environmental and renewable energy benefits. The energy provided to the Reef would be weather dependent, and subject to demand from the reef at any one time.
Members’ questions and debate
Sloley - LA/22/1910 - Retention of internal and external alterations to facilitate conversion of barn to dwelling, The Old Workshop, Sloley Road, Sloley, Norwich. & Sloley - PF/22/1909 - Conversion of barn to dwelling (retrospective), The Old Workshop, Sloley Road, Sloley, Norwich PDF 361 KB
APPLICATIONS LA/22/1910 & PF/22/1909 WERE DISCUSSED TOGETHER BUT VOTED ON SEPERATELY.
The SPO – JS introduced the Officers report and recommendations for LA/22/1910 and PF/22/1909 which were presented together. She affirmed that sites location, floor plans, elevations, relationship with neighbouring properties and heritage. The SPO – JS advised that the key issues for consideration were design and impact upon heritage assets and amenity, and it was confirmed that the Conservation and Design Officer raised no objection to the proposals, and considered that there would be no harmful impact upon the designated heritage asset as a whole.
The SPO-JS updated the Committee with regards to PF/22/1909 and advised an additional condition be applied that any relevant conditions be be-imposed from extant approval. Further, she affirmed an Advisory note that the approval does not cover the unauthorised garage and boundary screening and a further planning application will be prepared and submitted to the Local Planning Authority for consideration within 6 months of the date of this decision to address any outstanding issues.
Dr Michelle Lyon – Supporting
Members questions and debate
IT WAS UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED by 12 votes for.
That Planning Application LA/22/1910 be APPROVED subject to conditions to cover the matters listed below and any others considered necessary by the Assistant Director – Planning
· Approved Plans
· Re-painting of meter boxes within 3 months of the date of decision in a colour to be agreed with the LPA.
Final wording of conditions to be delegated to the Assistant Director - Planning.
The SPO- RA introduced the Officers report and recommendation for approval. He advised a correction in the report, noting that some details related to the other application (PF/22/0541) which was pending decision with delays owing to nutrient neutrality and not approved as stated. The Case Officer affirmed that nutrient neutrality did not affect the proposed application before the Committee.
The SPO-RA confirmed that sites location and aerial view of the property; providing context for the proposals relationship with neighbouring properties and key infrastructure within the historic setting, as well as site plans, elevations and photographs.
The Main issues for consideration pertained to the impact on the heritage asset (Policy EN 8 of the NNDC Core Strategy) with the SPO-RA confirming that the Senior Conservation and Design Officer raised no objection to the internal works and rooflights to the rear, and considered there to be ‘less than substantial harm’ as set out by the NPPF when weighed against the public benefits of the proposal; renewable energy and sustainability of the rural location.
On balance, Officers considered the proposal acceptable subject to condition, and noted it would be conditioned that the solar panels be removed if they were no longer needed.
Members questions and debate
(a) New Appeals
(b) Inquiries and Hearings – Progress
(c) Written Representations Appeals – In Hand
(d) Appeal Decisions
(e) Court Cases – Progress and Results
The DM advised that the Arcady appeal for Cley-next-the-sea had been heard that week and was understood to have concluded, pending a response from the Planning Inspector in the coming weeks.
The Chairman noted the 3 applications for Fakenham – ENF/21/002, PO/21/2584 and PF/21/3158 and asked for an update. The DM advised that the Council were awaiting instruction from the Planning Inspectorate.
Cllr A Brown identified ENF/20/0095, and commented that the applicant had submitted a new planning application PF/22/2767 for a modified scheme. He noted that ENF/20/0095 had been refused in May 2021 and went to appeal in October 2021. Cllr A Brown expressed his disappointment and concern with the extended delay as it was recommended that written appeals take no more than 30 weeks, and challenged the Authority to engage with the Planning Inspectors on these delays.
The DM spoke to the Councils strong record at appeal and noted that only one of the five appeals had been upheld by the Planning Inspector.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
To pass the following resolution, if necessary:-
“That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A (as amended) to the Act.”