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TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DETAILS OF ANY SUBSTITUTE MEMBER(S)
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett. There was one substitute Member in attendance.
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.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
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.
North Norfolk Application ref: PF/18/0363
Associated Broadland Application ref: 20181484
Parishes: Buxton with Lamas; Coltishall
Site address: Scottow Enterprise Park, Lamas Road, Badersfield, Scottow, NR10 5FB
Proposal: Change of use of parts of the former military taxiway and runway areas for manoeuvring, take-off and landing of light aircraft
Delegated conditional approval + S106 Obligation
Debra Simpson (objecting)
Michael Graham (supporting)
The Major Projects Team Leader circulated an amended recommendation, which had resulted from updates that had been received since the publication of the report in respect of flight altitudes, testing of aircraft, matters relating to noise assessment and ecological reports and an amended response from the Environmental Protection Team. Changes to the published conditions were principally in relation to an expectation for a planning obligation to be agreed between the applicants, landowner and local authorities with regard to additional retained grassland within the Enterprise Park to address the ecological impacts, and to recommend to Broadland District Council (BDC) that it approves application 20181484 with the same conditions as applied by NNDC.
The Major Projects Team Leader presented the report and displayed plans of the site and maps showing the context of the site in the surrounding areas. He explained that there had been a misunderstanding as to the routing of aircraft and clarified details in respect of the aircraft movements and noise assessment. He explained the amended noise protection measures in the proposed conditions. It was likely that the amendments would result in less impact to the local population than originally envisaged.
The Major Projects Team Leader displayed maps of showing ecological protected areas and flight exclusion zones. He stated that there were changes in the ecological impacts due to the misunderstanding regarding the submitted information. It was considered that unacceptable impacts could still be avoided but it was likely that Civil Aviation Authority requirements and Air Traffic Control would direct some aircraft into the protected areas for safety reasons. He outlined the amended ecological conditions for off-site operations in the revised recommendation. He stated that the Scottow Enterprise Park itself was an excellent habitat for breeding skylarks but their population could decline in proximity to aircraft. However, he was confident that discussions could take place between NNDC, BDC, the applicants and landowner with regard to the extension of the existing retained grassland at the Enterprise Park.
He recommended approval of this application as set out in the revised recommendation which had been tabled at the meeting.
Councillor N Lloyd asked who would responsible for measuring, reviewing and reporting back on noise monitoring.
The Senior Environmental Protection Officer explained that noise monitoring would be undertaken by a noise consultant. She suggested that technical reviewing would be undertaken by Environmental Protection Officers, who would liaise with the noise consultant to ensure that the most appropriate and informative assessment was carried out.
Councillor P Heinrich asked how the noise data compared with rig supply helicopters.
The Senior Environmental Protection Officer stated that her subjective impression was that helicopter noise would be greater than that of smaller aircraft. The noisiest aspects of the proposed flights were the shortest in duration and she considered that this issue had been covered by the restrictions on take-offs and landings.
Councillor Mrs W Fredericks requested clarification of the number of flights which would be allowed on Saturday mornings.
(a) New Appeals
(b) Inquiries and Hearings – Progress
(c) Written Representations Appeals – In Hand
(d) Appeal Decisions – Results and Summaries
(e) Court Cases – Progress and Results
(a) NEW APPEALS
The Committee noted item 8(a) of the agenda.
(b) INQUIRIES AND HEARINGS - PROGRESS
The Committee noted item 8(b) of the agenda.
(c) WRITTEN REPRESENTATIONS APPEALS - IN HAND
The Committee noted item 8(c) of the agenda.
(d) APPEAL DECISIONS – RESULTS AND SUMMARIES
The Committee noted item 8(d) of the agenda.
The Head of Planning gave a brief overview of the appeal decisions, which would be reported in more detail at the next meeting.
(e) COURT CASES – PROGRESS AND RESULTS
The Committee noted item 8(e) of the agenda.
The Major Projects Manager reported that the Court of Appeal had now refused the Council’s application to appeal against Mr Justice Ouseley’s decision to allow the Planning Inspectorate to determine the appeals in respect of wind turbine applications at Bodham and Selbrigg under the written representations procedure. The Council had no further right of appeal against this decision.
The Planning Inspectorate had now commenced the written representations process and the Council was required to make submissions within six weeks. The Major Projects Manager was confident that the Committee’s decision to refuse the planning applications could be defended.
Councillor D Baker stated that a long time had elapsed since this case commenced and referred to the Council’s decision to object to onshore wind turbine applications. He asked if the Council’s position had changed with regard to onshore wind turbines given the new administration and issues such as the declaration of a climate emergency.
The Major Projects Manager explained that Officers were not instructed to object to wind turbine application. There was a permissive policy on renewable energy schemes but consideration had to be given to the impact of such schemes on the landscape. He explained that both schemes would have a considerable impact on the landscape and heritage assets. The Council now had a new Landscape Character Assessment and Landscape Sensitivity Statement and there was a Government requirement to identify where wind turbines would or would not be acceptable. The updated evidence would be submitted to the Inspector and Officers considered that the schemes remained unacceptable. The climate emergency declaration could make a difference to the way in which schemes were considered in future but the Council had to consider how it took the declaration forward.
The Chairman stated that applications had been approved for small turbines on farms but the Bodham and Selbrigg schemes were harmful. The Development Committee had toured the surrounding heritage sites and the proposed turbines would be very large and too visible.
The Major Projects Manager stated that North Norfolk had some of the largest solar energy schemes in the area and was one of the best authorities for allowing onshore renewable schemes. However, wind turbines were not a preferable option given their impact on heritage and landscape.