Agenda, decisions and minutes

Development Committee - Thursday, 23rd March, 2023 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Lauren Gregory  Email:

No. Item




Apologies were received from Cllr V Holliday and Cllr A Varley.




None present.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 298 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on Thursday, 23rd February 2023.


  1. Cllr P Heinrich proposed a correction to Minute 114, and clarified he had declared a non-pecuniary interest as a member of the Caravan and Motorhome Club, not the Caravan and Camping Club. 


  1. Cllr N Pearce questioned the outcome of Planning Application RV/22/0308, and sought advice when it would be appropriate to discuss his concerns.


  1. The PL advised that the Committee were asked under this agenda item to consider whether the Minutes were an accurate reflection of what was said. 


  1. Cllr N Pearce commented that his concerns also related to the accuracy of the Minutes but that he would be content to discuss later.


  1. Cllr A Brown stated that the conduct of contributor in the February meeting would be discussed later in the meeting, as a matter of urgent business.


  1. The DM reiterated the advice offered by the PL and noted there was no agenda item to specifically discuss the Holt application on the agenda. This matter had not been raised as an item of urgent business prior to the meeting, but could be added if Members considered they required clarification.


  1. Cllr N Pearce affirmed that RV/22/0308 should be discussed as an urgent item, particularly in light of a written article which required urgent clarification.


  1. The Chairman advised that the Hopkins Home development for Holt (RV/22/0308) would be added as an urgent item, with this item being taken at the end of the meeting.


The Minutes of the Development Committee on 23rd February were approved as a correct record subject to the amendment put forward by Cllr P Heinrich.   




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 Fitch-Tillett declared a non-pecuniary interest for Planning Application PF/22/1708, she is a friend of the applicant, and therefore affirmed she would abstain from voting on the application.



NORTHREPPS - PF/22/1708 - Siting of 2 glamping pods for holiday use at Shrublands Farm Camping Site, Craft Lane, Northrepps. pdf icon PDF 337 KB


Officer’s Report


The PO-AW introduced the Officers report and recommendation for refusal. She advised that the application was a scaled down resubmission of PF/21/2263 which came before the committee in 2021 and seeks full planning permission for the siting of 2 self-contained timber glamping pods to be constructed on a rectangular parcel of land at Shrublands Farm to the south of Northrepps village.


It was noted that the application site does not have planning permission and currently operates under a ‘Certified’ Camping and Caravanning license. This license is a permitted development exemption which allows land to be used for the purposes of camping for up to 28 consecutive days at any one time, for up to 10 tent pitches and 5 motorhomes. The glamping pods do not qualify under this exemption and therefore are required to be assessed against Planning Policy.


The PO-AW affirmed the sites location, images of the site and its context in its local surroundings.


In terms of the key issues for consideration, the proposal is located in an area designated as countryside within the Norfolk Coast AONB where Policy EN 1 of the Core Strategy recognises the impact of individual proposals and their cumulative impact on the AONB, stating that proposals which would be significantly detrimental to the special qualities of the AONB and their setting should not be permitted.


Polices EC 7 and EC 10 deal specifically with controlling the location of new tourism development, EC 7 gives specific reference that new build un-serviced holiday accommodation in the Countryside should be treated as permanent residential dwellings and should not be permitted. Policy EC 10 further states that new static caravan sites and woodland holiday accommodation (which would also cover glamping pods) will only be permitted in limited circumstances, and not where they are located within sensitive landscape designations such as the Norfolk Coast AONB. Extensions to existing sites are tightly controlled and only where they demonstrate a high standard of design and have minimal adverse impacts upon their surroundings.  Given its certified status Officers conclude that the land at Shrublands farm cannot be treated as an existing site and that the scheme should be assessed as a new camping site under Policy EC 10, and is considered contrary to the aims of this policy.


With respect on landscape matters, the PO-AW stated that the proposed pods would occupy the site year round making them permanent structures. Landscape Officers are of the opinion that, whilst wider visual impact would be relatively contained by the enclosed wooded setting, as permanent structures the pods would be visible in the winter months. This, together with the increased human activity, light spill and vehicle movements that the development would generate would not conserve or enhance the valued features or the defined special qualities of the Norfolk Coast AONB, particularly ‘a sense of remoteness and tranquillity.


The Case Officer advised that the benefits of the proposal would need to be balanced against the harm which would result from new tourist accommodation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124.


SHERINGHAM - PF/22/1660 - 37 suite apartment hotel (Class C1) with associated access, parking and landscaping Land To East Of, The Reef Leisure Centre, Weybourne Road, Sheringham for Morston Palatine Ltd pdf icon PDF 351 KB


Officer’s Report


The SPO introduced the Officers report and recommendation for approval subject to conditions. He affirmed the location plan for the site and its relationship with neighbouring surroundings including AONB, proposed site plan, floor plans and elevations which included 9 EV parking spaces 2 of which were accessible, as well as cycle and motorcycle parking and solar array to the roof. Photographs were offered to better demonstrate the site’s context. Access to the car park would be obtained via the car park on the adjacent Reef Leisure Centre.


The SPO stated that the scale and design of the proposal had been chosen to accord with the Reef, making an overall cohesive development. The extensive proposed landscaping scheme would aid to obscure aspects of the development, in addition, as the development would sit lower in the landscape than the nearby residential area and football club, it’s the visual impact was considered to be less noticeable.


The Case Officer outlined the key areas of consideration and reiterated the recommendation subject to conditions. He noted that GIRAMS payment had been secured since the publication of the Officer Report, however matters of surface water drainage were outstanding.


Public Speakers




Member’s Question’s and Debate


  1. Cllr L Withington, Member for Sheringham North, speaking on behalf of Local Member Cllr C Heinink for Sheringham South, acknowledged the positive and negative impacts the proposed development would result in. She stated that whilst there would be economic benefits, there remained concern in the local community that the development would have the opposite effect. There were misgivings about the nature of the apartment-hotel model, and in missed opportunities for the town’s economy. Cllr L Withington stated, given the limited availability of land in Sheringham for development, there was some scepticism that the proposal was the best use of land to bring the greatest benefit to the local economy. The Local Member considered an expansion of the adjacent industrial site was desperately needed, allowing smaller businesses to expand and potentially bring additional employment opportunities and more resilience to the community. Alternatively, a housing scheme which included an assisted living complex would have brought a synergy with the new residential home being built at Westwood (adjacent to the Reef site).


Reflecting on the application, Cllr L Withington stated that there had been concerns expressed about the density of the development, and that the design would be far more imposing than the neighbouring Reef development. The proposed development was considered to result in a marked change in the town’s character and tourist accommodation offering. Views from the western entrance to the town would be impacted, and the Northern elevation ‘block-like’ design she contended lacked in design quality. Cllr L Withington affirmed that many felt that the landscape design was disappointing, and although extensive hedging was utilised, this was considered an easy option with little thought as to how the large construction could be immersed in its AONB setting.


With respect of drainage, the Local Member advised that there were already concerns  ...  view the full minutes text for item 125.


MUNDESLEY - PF/22/1649 - Removal of existing pin tiles from chancel roof and installation of slate roof incorporating solar slates. All Saints Church, Cromer Road, Mundesley for The PCC of All Saints Church Mundesley pdf icon PDF 252 KB


Officers Report


The PO-MA introduced the Officers report and recommendation for approval. He outlined the sites context, location plan, areal views, as well as photographs of the various elevations.


The SPO-MA provided photographic evidence of the proposed roof tiles on the Northern roof, comprised of traditional Spanish style slate tile, and the proposed photovoltaic Solar Slates on the Southern Elevation, which would not be subject to the same glint and glare issues associated with traditional PV panels. He advised that that the applicant had provided information on their energy consumption for the last full year which was 2018 (later years were impacted by COVID-19) amounting to 3683kWh. The proposed PV slate roof was expected to generate 6754 kWh, with the new electric heating and replacement lighting expected to consume 756 kWh. The proposal was therefore expected to approximately generate a net gain of 2315 kWh to the National Grid per year.


The SPO-MA affirmed the main issues for consideration; the principle of development; the effect of the proposed development on the significance of designated heritage assets; effect on residential amenity, highway safety and biodiversity; and Coastal Erosion.


Public Speakers


Mr White - Supporting


Member’s Question’s and Debate


  1. The Local Member – Cllr W Fredericks – spoke in support of the application which she considered to be a trailblazer for other churches, noting that the Bishop of Norwich’s vision for all churches in the County to be greener. She commended the application for being common sense, and if approved would see the removal of the old oil boiler and leaking tank.


  1. Cllr N Lloyd expressed his support for the application, and reflected that this type of scheme was taking place across the Country including historic locations and buildings within Cambridge University. He argued that the panels would not be distinguishable from a typical slate tile to many observers. Whilst understanding why the Conservation Officer had objected to the proposal based on current NNDC adopted core strategy policies, Cllr N Lloyd stated that the polices were outdated and in need of addressing. He proposed acceptance of the Officers recommendation.


  1. Cllr A Brown seconded the Officers recommendation, and agreed with Cllr N Lloyd that having declared a Climate Emergency it was important the Council support applications which looked after the environment.


  1. Cllr P Heinrich reflected that whilst the proposal would amount to a minor change in appearance, it would make a significant and positive difference to the environment.


  1. Cllr L Withington considered the application in relation to the Coastal Transition and Acceptation Programme, and stated that it was important to consider the retrofitting of existing infrastructure to ensure they were fit for the future.


  1. Cllr G Mancini-Boyle stated this was a fantastic scheme which he hoped would be replicated across the district.


  1. The Chairman noted that replacement/repairs to the roof and heating system would ensure that the Church be more amenable for community use, noting that that active lunch club could be accommodated in the church.


IT WAS UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED by 12 votes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 126.


TUNSTEAD - PF/22/3026 - Installation of a ground mounted solar PV array (1083 kWp) consisting of 1900 panels and associated infrastructure (including fencing and CCTV) AT R & JM Pace Ltd, Church Road, Tunstead, Norwich pdf icon PDF 245 KB


Officers Report


The PO-MB introduced the Officers report and recommendation for approval, subject to conditions. He updated the Committee and advised that the Council were in receipt of the Landscape implementation and management plan, satisfying condition 4. The PO-MB outlined the sites location, aerial plan, site plan, images of the proposed panels, associated infrastructure, and images of the site visible from the road.


The PO-MB advised that the site was well contained and noted the proposal would not be visible within the wider landscape, being located away from public rights of way.


He highlighted the main issues for consideration as detailed in the Officers report and reaffirmed the Officers recommendation.


Public Speakers




Member’s Questions and Debate


  1. The Local Member – Cllr G Mancini-Boyle - Proposed acceptance of the Officers recommendation and noted the lack of objections as set out in the Officers report. He stated that such schemes were the future, and that he was glad to see more schemes of this nature coming forward. The Local Member asked if the threshold for bringing such items to Committee could be reviewed, as he considered these could be approved under delegated authority.


  1. The DM advised that the call in requirements were in the process of being reviewed, and would be brought back the Committee for consideration.


  1. Cllr R Kershaw spoke positively of the application, and noted that the applicant was a large employer in the district and had been suffering with the effects of Brexit, restrictions of employment as well as issues of water extraction. Cllr R Kershaw expressed his support for the business, which was very popular in its local community, and so seconded the Officers recommendation.


  1. Cllr N Lloyd agreed that the threshold for call ins for schemes of this nature be re-assessed and only be called in if objected to by the Local Member.


  1. Cllr A Brown noted that the Council could consider its validation list, and assess the process for schemes in specific areas i.e. within the AONB. He considered that something more prescriptive was needed rather than Members calling in applications, and argued for the application of permitted development.


  1. Cllr N Pearce noted that the design of Solar Panels had changed in last 15 years, with newer models having the ability to be disposed of or recycled more easily. He asked if this information could be included in the Officers Report going forward.




That Planning Application PF/22/3036 be APPROVED subject to conditions detailed in the Officers Report. Final Wording of conditions to be delegated to the Assistant Director – Planning.



Hempstead - PF/23/0198 - Installation of 316kW of ground mounted solar panels at Hole Farm House, Hole Farm Road, Hempstead, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6TT for Nethergate Farms pdf icon PDF 391 KB


Officers Recommendation


The PO – IM introduced the Officers report and recommendation for approval subject to conditions. She outlined the sites location, relationship with neighbouring dwellings, proposed site plan, aerial photos, proposed elevations and photos of the site, as well as the main issues for consideration.


Public Speakers




Member’s Question’s and Debate


  1. Cllr N Lloyd proposed acceptance of the Officers recommendation.


  1. Cllr G Mancini-Boyle expressed his support for the recommendation and reiterated earlier comments that the threshold for call in’s be reviewed.


  1. Cllr J Toye seconded the Officers recommendation.




That Planning Application PF/23/0198 be APPROVED subject to conditions detailed in the Officers Report. Final Wording of conditions to be delegated to the Assistant Director – Planning.




Additional documents:


  1. The DM introduced the Development Management Performance Update Report and spoke positively of the Planning Service’s performance, with both major and non-major performance being 100% in time or with an agreed extension of time for the month. He noted that the 24 average for majors had diminished but commented this was due to older applications dropping off the list. The DM commended Officers for their continued hard work, and management of high caseloads. He advised that work was ongoing with respect of the Planning Service Improvement Plan. Further, it was hoped in future to reduce the reliance on extensions of time, and to review the scheme of delegation to streamline the items being brought to Committee.


  1. Cllr A Brown thanked Planning Officers for their dedication and in producing improved figures. It was hoped that with better application of the Uniform system by Officers that additional improvements could be made.


  1. The Chairman noted that it had been a difficult period for the department, noting staff shortages, changes in operational systems, working from home and more. She thanked Officers for their hard work.


  1. The PL advised that were 7 current S106 obligations, and that she remained hopeful that the Crisp Malting S106 would be completed by the next meeting.


  1. Cllr G Mancini-Boyle spoke highly of the recently appointed S106 Officer, and the positive way she had engaged with him.




(a)         New Appeals

(b)         Inquiries and Hearings – Progress

(c)         Written Representations Appeals – In Hand

(d)         Appeal Decisions

(e)         Court Cases – Progress and Results


New Appeals

Nothing to add.


Inquiries and Hearings – In progress

The DM advised that the outcome for the Arcady hearing was due around early April, and that the Members would be informed once this had been received.


Written Representations Appeals – In hand

Nothing to add.


Appeal Decisions

The DM noted the Officers report and affirmed that in addition to those detailed application PF/21/3353 and ENF/20/0095 had also been dismissed.


  1. Cllr N Lloyd noted the ongoing case (not included in the Officers report) with regard to the Mural dedicated to footballer Lauren Hemp within the Conservation Area in North Walsham, and which had garnered significant media interest. He asked for an update on this matter.


  1. The ADP advised that Officers had visited the site and that a report had been compiled for the Planning Enforcement Panel. A review of the mural had been undertaken, and it was considered that the Mural could fall under S215 or alternatively be defined as graffiti. The Panel took a view that this was not untidy land nor was the mural graffiti. Officers were working with the building owner on the building enforcement matter, with positive discussions taking place. 


  1. Cllr N Lloyd supported the recognition of Lauren Hemp but argued that the location of the mural had upset many local residents. He cautioned against individuals for failing to abide by planning rules and stated if everyone was able to do what they wanted it would amount to chaos. He concluded that there may have been better ways to pay tribute to Lauren Hemp.




(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.


  1. Cllr N Pearce advised that an article had appeared in one of the Local papers, the Crab Tales, regarding application RV/22/0308 which had been discussed at the last Development Committee meeting. The article detailed that a decision had been reached that there would be no low cost homes on the site, despite Members agreeing for deferment with the item expected to be brought before Committee once more. Cllr N Pearce asked for clarity if a decision had been reached, and to confirm that the item would be returned to Committee.


  1. The DM advised that since the deferment of the application at the last meeting, no decision had been reached, and the item would be presented again to the Development Committee provided that the Applicant did not appeal against non-determination based on the expiry of the proposal. The extension of the time for the proposal had been since agreed to the end of April. He advised that two further meetings had taken place between Officers and the Applicant following the last Committee Meeting, to discuss particular issues on delivering affordable houses on the site, and to negotiate a successful way forward. These negotiations were ongoing.


  1. Cllr A Brown noted that there was a free press in the UK, though perhaps it may be better that reporters gain a greater insight into the planning process before reporting. He asked if the head of Communications at NNDC could follow up on this matter with the editor of the Crab Tales.


  1. The ADP advised, subject to the discretion of the Chairman, he would be pleased to refer the matter to the Communications team, and ask that the editor be contacted. As a matter of public record, he confirmed that the public access system is available which confirms that no decision had been reached on this application. The ADP advised that it remained the case that the application would be returned to Committee as agreed.


  1. Cllr N Pearce thanked Officers for the clarification that no decision had been reached. He noted that the provision of low-cost housing was of significant concern locally, and that the way the case had been reported in the Crab Tales had resulted in a number of distressed calls made by residents to himself. Further, he considered that the conduct of the Applicant, contacting Officers during the Committee meeting, but not being in attendance themselves, to be poor.


Cllr N Lloyd left the meeting at 11.23am.


  1. Cllr A Brown affirmed that as Portfolio Holder for Planning he had asked that the manner in which the applicant had engaged with the Committee at the last Committee Meeting be reviewed. He argued that representations should be made in person to the Committee, as an act of deference to the Committee in their decision making. He was not satisfied with the conduct of the Applicant at the last meeting. Cllr A Brown thanked Cllr P Heinrich for his competent Chairing of the meeting which had been challenging.


  1. The Chairman shared her thanks for Cllr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 131.



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.”