Agenda, decisions and minutes

Development Committee - Thursday, 7th November, 2019 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Linda Yarham  Email:

No. Item




An apology for absence was received from Councillor Dr C Stockton.



To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on 10 October 2019.


The minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on 10 October 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



(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.






Mr D Baker

Had been contacted by the applicant and had given advice on the procedure for calling in applications and contacting officers, but had not given any opinion on the application.


Mr D Baker

Knew one of the speakers as she was a schoolteacher who had taught his daughter.



FAKENHAM - PF/19/1421 - Change of use from dwelling (Class C3) to mixed use (dwelling & hair and beauty salon); Tree Tops, Heath Lane, Fakenham, NR21 8LN for Mrs Pawley pdf icon PDF 199 KB


Conditional approval


The Senior Planning Officer (CN) presented the report and displayed plans and photographs of the site and surroundings, including an interior photograph to demonstrate the current domestic use of the extension.  He stated that whilst the description was technically correct, in effect the proposal related to a person working from home.  He recommended approval subject to the conditions listed in the report.


Councillor J Rest, local Member, stated that he had been asked by several residents of Heath Lane to put forward their concerns and he was expressing their opinions.  Residents had raised concerns regarding the siting of a commercial business in a residential road.  There were 12 known hairdressing/beauty salon businesses in the town.  Based on the applicant’s expected customers, 4 to 5 additional cars could be parked either in the applicant’s driveway or on the road, albeit not at the same time.  Contrary to the Highway Authority’s opinion, the exit at the bottom end of Heath Lane was not easily accessible by vehicles.  Heath Lane was an unadopted road which was maintained by residents’ contributions.  Concerns had also been raised with regard to chemicals used in the business.  He asked if there was any evidence of a trade waste contract being taken up.


Councillor R Kershaw acknowledged the concern relating to additional vehicles.  However, he considered that this was not a strong argument as there could be additional traffic to and from other residents, such as online shopping deliveries.


Councillor N Pearce stated that he knew the area very well and agreed with Councillor Rest that the access at the bottom of Heath Lane was almost non-existent.  He expressed concern that additional parked vehicles could cause difficulty for delivery vehicles.


Councillor P Heinrich considered that there would be no problem with a small scale business.  He supported the application.


It was proposed by Councillor R Kershaw, seconded by Councillor G Mancini-Boyle and


RESOLVED unanimously


That this application be approved in accordance with the recommendation of the Head of Planning.



LUDHAM - PF/19/1499 - Single storey extension following demolition of conservatory; 20 Broad Reaches, Ludham, Great Yarmouth, NR29 5PD for Mr and Mrs Blathwayt pdf icon PDF 205 KB


Delegated conditional approval


The Planning Officer presented the report and displayed plans and photographs of the site.  He reported that the site notice would expire on 8 November and recommended delegated approval subject to no new material comments being received on expiry of the notice, conditions as listed in the report, the final wording of those conditions to be delegated to the Head of Planning.


Councillor A Varley, the local Member, stated that he had no concerns regarding this application.  He reported that the Parish Council had supported the application.


In response to a question by Councillor G Mancini-Boyle, the Planning Officer confirmed that the neighbouring dwelling had been extended.


It was proposed by Councillor Mrs W Fredericks, seconded by Councillor A Brown and


RESOLVED unanimously


That the Head of Planning be authorised to approve this application subject to no new planning grounds of objection upon completion of the consultation period and subject to the imposition of appropriate conditions.



RUNTON - PF/19/1472 - Proposed single storey rear extension; The Old Mill Studio, Mill Lane, East Runton, Cromer, NR27 9PH for Mrs Pitcher pdf icon PDF 436 KB


Conditional approval


Public Speaker


Mr Pitcher (supporting)


The Acting Development Manager presented the report and displayed plans and photographs of the site and surrounding area, including aerial photographs taken from the Old Mill.  He reported that three further representations had been received in support of this application.  A meeting had been held with the applicant and her agent to explore possible alternatives, given the personal circumstances and recommendation for refusal.  The agent had responded by email, explaining the reasons for siting the extension as proposed, why the extension could not be sited elsewhere, the nature of the existing outbuildings which meant they could not be converted and the reasons why a temporary building would not be acceptable.


The Acting Development Manager recommended refusal of this application for the reasons set out in the report.


The Chairman referred to the comments of Councillor Mrs S Bütikofer, the local Member, which had been circulated prior to the meeting.  Members confirmed that they had read the comments.


The Head of Planning stated that this was one of the most difficult applications to consider.  Discussions had taken place to explore alternatives, from which it was clear that the applicant’s preference was for an extension as proposed.  It was appreciated by Officers that the extension as now proposed was smaller than a previous application to provide accommodation for grandparents.  He explained that Officers could only give advice on planning decisions based on planning policy.  Officers had identified a material level of harm to the listed buildings and their settings.  The harm was considered to be towards the middle to lower end of the spectrum of harm, but the Council had a duty to protect the listed buildings.  He advised the Committee with regard to the assessment of harm and the weighing of public benefit which had led to the recommendation, and the issues for the Committee to consider in this case.  On the basis of planning policy and case law, the application was recommended for refusal.


Councillor D Baker considered that the report was positive, but it had concluded with a recommendation of refusal.  There had been no objections, the Parish Council was sympathetic and he considered that a great deal of weight should be given to the lack of objection from occupiers of the heritage asset.  The proposal did not contravene Policy HO8 and would be well screened.  He understood that planning decisions could not be made on compassionate grounds.  However, Government planning guidance gave substantial weight to children’s interests and he considered that this was an extraordinary case.  The Head of Planning had stated that the harm to the listed buildings would be less than substantial and the height of the extension would not have an impact on the listed building.  He stated that he would be proposing approval of the application.


Councillor N Pearce considered that there was more than enough scope to say that the level of harm was not substantial.  He considered that this was a situation where approval could be given  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.


SUSTEAD - PF/19/0603 - Change of use of a former scaffold yard to a self-storage facility (B8 Storage) including installation of storage containers & office/welfare unit and laying out of storage compounds; Wheelwrights, The Street, Sustead, NORWICH, NR11 8RU for Wild Boar Properties Ltd pdf icon PDF 255 KB


Indicate to the Planning Inspector that the Committee would have refused (final decision to be made by Planning Inspector as appeal against non-determination lodged by applicant)


Public Speakers


Mrs Bowland (Sustead Parish Council)

Mrs Williamson (objecting)

Mr Temperton (supporting)


The Acting Development Manager explained that since deferral of this application at the previous meeting, the applicant had submitted an appeal against non-determination to the Planning Inspectorate and the Committee now had to confirm the decision it would have made. 


The Acting Development Manager updated the Committee with regard to the matters for which the application had been deferred.  No further information had been submitted by the applicant to demonstrate that the 2008 permission to extend the scaffold yard had been implemented.  However, photographs had been supplied by the neighbour which indicated that, on the balance of probabilities, the permission had not been implemented.


The Highway Authority considered that the highway impact of the proposed use would be similar to the scaffold yard use and the access had been improved in the past.   The movement of the containers would be short-lived and similar to construction traffic bringing materials to the site and other traffic movements associated with the use would be by private vehicles.  The Highway Authority could therefore not substantiate an objection to this application. 


It was considered that surface water run off could be dealt with by conditions.


The Acting Development Manager presented the report and displayed plans and photographs of the site and surrounding area.  He referred to a letter that had been received from the Chair of the Felbeck Trust, which had been circulated to Members.  Given the established use of the site, with reluctance, the Acting Development Manager recommended the Committee to confirm that it would have approved the application subject to conditions.


Councillor J Toye, the local Member, referred to the comments he had made at the previous meeting.  He considered that it was clear that everyone, including the applicant, considered that the site was not the right place to put containers.  He referred to the reluctance with which the Acting Development Manager made his recommendation.  The question of housing had been raised, and whilst he was open to discussion on that matter, it was not an issue which could be discussed at this meeting and would require a separate application.  He considered that the current proposal was very different from a scaffolding yard, which only had a few traffic movements in the morning and evening, and was likely to generate ongoing traffic movements involving several vehicles on a daily basis.  He considered that the proposal was not right or suitable for Sustead.


The Chairman referred to the comments of Councillor Mrs S Bütikofer, which had been circulated prior to the meeting.  Members confirmed that they had read the comments.


Councillor N Pearce referred to the conclusion to the Officer’s report which stated that if this was a new proposal it would not be acceptable in this rural location.  He considered that this was a new proposal and he did not support it due to its location.  He considered that residential use would be better for the village and the applicant  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.


TRUNCH - PF/19/0962 - Retention of land for private recreational use, retention of summerhouse; retention of shed; retention of electricity meter cabinet and mains water stop-cock cabinet; retention of pedestrian access gate; retention of vehicular entrance and gate; Land opposite School Cottage, Back Street, Trunch for Mr Amis pdf icon PDF 211 KB


Conditional approval


The Interim Development Management Team Leader presented the report and displayed plans and photographs of the site.  She recommended approval of this application subject to the conditions listed in the report.


Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett considered that the proposed condition to prevent use of the summerhouse for residential habitation addressed any concerns.  She proposed approval of this application as recommended.


The Head of Planning explained the background to this case and confirmed that the summerhouse was used as additional amenity space when the site owners, who had a longstanding connection with Trunch, visited family and friends.


Councillor A Varley seconded the proposal.


RESOLVED unanimously


That this application be approved subject to the conditions listed in the report and any other conditions considered necessary by the Head of Planning.



WIVETON - PF/19/0856 - Retention of an electronic communications base station without removing the existing 12.5m high monopole mast and attached transmission dish (as required by condition 5 of prior approval ref. no. PA/17/0681); Telephone Exchange, Hall Lane, Wiveton for Arqiva Limited pdf icon PDF 533 KB




Public Speaker


Mr Shamash (supporting)


The Senior Planning Officer (JS) presented the report and displayed plans and photographs of the site, including views from the surrounding area.  She recommended approval subject to the conditions listed in the report.


The Chairman referred to the comments of Councillor Ms K Ward, the local Member, which had been circulated prior to the meeting.  Members confirmed that they had read the comments.


Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett stated that she was Vice-Chair of the Norfolk Coast Partnership.  She stated that the masts were in a sensitive location and asked if it would be possible to share the apparatus within the tower of Blakeney Church.  There was a suggestion through central government to make operators share apparatus.  She did not support this application.


Councillor N Pearce stated that the Local Authority was tasked with protecting the AONB and heritage, and questioned the need for a second mast on the site.  He considered that insufficient thought had been given to the siting of the mast at the outset.  He did not support the application.


The Head of Planning explained that the existing monopole had planning permission to be on the site.  The second mast also had planning permission, subject to the removal of the original mast.  He advised that in the event of refusal of this application, which sought to retain both masts, it would be necessary to consider enforcing either the condition relating to the brown mast or to have the brown mast removed.


Councillor R Kershaw stated that the issue seemed to be that one mast was acceptable and one should be removed.  The contractor had made a basic error in placing the 15m mast where there was no clear line of sight and he did not understand why the 12.5m mast could not be replaced by a 15m mast.  He understood that the equipment within Blakeney Church tower had recently gone live.  There would be a community benefit by bringing money into local churches and he understood alternative sites at Wiveton and Cley churches had not been explored.


There being no proposer for the Officers’ recommendation, the Chairman put the recommendation to the Committee and it was lost with no Members voting in favour.


Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett proposed refusal of this application on grounds relating to additional harm to the AONB.


The Head of Planning advised the Committee with regard to identification of the level of harm and weighting against the public benefit.  He stated that he had delegated authority on matters of enforcement and would seek the retention of one of the masts and full compliance with one of the planning permissions which were in place.


It was proposed by Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett, seconded by Councillor R Kershaw and


RESOLVED unanimously


That this application be refused on grounds that the harm to the AONB, Glaven Valley Conservation Area and the impact on the setting of the adjacent Conservation Area is not outweighed by the wider public benefit which arises from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.







(a)         New Appeals

(b)         Inquiries and Hearings – Progress

(c)         Written Representations Appeals – In Hand

(d)         Appeal Decisions

(e)         Court Cases – Progress and Results


The Head of Planning reported that the Planning Inspectorate was currently taking 40 weeks to deal with written representations enforcement appeals, around a year for hearings and 70 weeks for public inquiries, which was of great concern.  He referred to enforcement cases at Cley and High Kelling for which a date had not yet been received.  He would continue to press the Planning Inspectorate on these outstanding matters.


Councillor N Pearce considered that the Council’s success with appeal decisions showed that it was on the right track, and as much pressure as possible should be put on the Inspectorate.


Councillor A Brown endorsed Councillor Pearce’s comments.  He expressed gratitude to the Planning Team for the handling of the cases.  He considered that it was not widely appreciated by the public that the work done by the Planning Team on appeal cases helped to protect the Council’s finances.  He wondered if the delay in dealing with appeals was symptomatic of a lack of resources, finances or skills in the Inspectorate, and asked the Head of Planning to comment on how the situation could be improved,  if there was any recognition of the problem at Government level and if the problem was being addressed.


The Head of Planning stated that he would send a link to the Inspectorate’s web page so Members could keep themselves appraised as to the length of time appeals were taking.  The concern was principally around enforcement appeals, where there was a shortage of enforcement experts, the cases were difficult and decisions directly affected people’s lives and livelihoods.  He would continue to raise the issues with the Portfolio Holder and Chairman and keep Members up to date with the progress on individual cases.


(a)      NEW APPEALS            


The Committee noted item 14(a) of the agenda.




The Committee noted item 14(b) of the agenda.




The Committee noted item 14(c) of the agenda.




The Committee noted item 14(d) of the agenda.




The Committee noted item 14(e) of the agenda.