Agenda, decisions and minutes

Development Committee - Thursday, 23rd July, 2020 9.30 am

Venue: remotely via Zoom. View directions

Contact: Linda Yarham  Email:

No. Item




An apology for absence was received from Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett.  Councillor J Rest attended the meeting as her substitute.



To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on 28 May 2020.


The Minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on 28 May 2020 were approved as a correct record.



(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.






P Heinrich

Has had contact with the North Walsham Park Owners’ Association in the past and attended meetings with them with officers in attendance.


N Lloyd

Former Ward Member for 8 years and familiar with the issues at the site.






NORTH WALSHAM - PF/20/0739 - Removal of Condition 10 (use of woodland lodges for holiday accommodation purposes only) and Condition 11 (a register of lettings and occupation of woodland lodges) of planning permission ref: PF/09/1161 (Use of Land for Stationing Seventeen Woodland Lodges and Construction of Access Track and Parking Area) to enable 12 monthly holiday use or residential use; Alder Country Park, Bacton Road, North Walsham pdf icon PDF 327 KB


Conditional approval


The Head of Planning presented the report and referred to the slides that had previously been circulated to the Committee.  He recommended approval of this application subject to the conditions as set out in the report.


The Head of Planning reported the comments of Councillor E Seward, local Member, who supported this application as it would enable the whole site to have a dual use.


Public Speaker


John Morris (supporting)


Councillor P Heinrich, local Member, stated that removing the condition would bring the remaining part of the park under the same conditions as the rest of it.  He was not aware of any local objections.  He proposed the approval of this application as recommended.


Councillor N Lloyd seconded the proposal. 


Councillor G Mancini-Boyle asked if there were written guarantees from the new owners that there would be no recurrence of the alleged mis-selling that had happened under the previous ownership.


The Head of Planning explained that planning conditions could not be used to control the sale of the units and other legislation would cover any mis-selling.  The Principal Lawyer confirmed that civil or land ownership issues were private matters and the planning process was only concerned with land use.


Councillor A Brown supported the application.  He was mindful that the residents had been on tenterhooks whilst the planning process and legal action was ongoing.  However, he was concerned that the owners of similar sites could see this application as a way of flouting Local Plan Policies SS1 and SS2, and he asked the Head of Planning to explain why he considered that approval of this application would set a rare precedent.


The Head of Planning stated that applications had to be considered on their own merits.  He explained that there were rare circumstances in this case, in that it was a holiday site close to the largest centre of population in the District, there were a number of services associated with this site and it was sustainable in terms of its access to other community services and facilities, without reliance on the private car.  There were few other sites located in such a position and it was unusual to find a site with such extensive facilities.  He therefore considered that it was a rare precedent which would not be readily repeated by other sites in less sustainable locations in the District.


Councillor N Pearce referred to the request by North Walsham Town Council to impose a condition to require a maximum 50/50 split between permanent residential and holiday accommodation.  He considered that holiday use was important to the local economy.


The Head of Planning stated that the Council Tax records indicated that very few of the units were in permanent residential use and he considered that it would be inappropriate to impose such a condition.  Many people used the site for staycations and some owners let out their units, which brought people into North Walsham and supported the local economy.  He stated that the use of the site was appropriate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


NORTH WALSHAM - PF/20/0637 - Subdivision of existing dwelling into 2no. dwellings and erection of single-storey rear extension; 8a New Road, North Walsham, NR28 9DF for Mr & Mrs Godden pdf icon PDF 301 KB


Conditional approval


The Head of Planning presented the report and referred to the slides that had previously been circulated to the Committee.  He recommended approval of this application subject to the conditions as set out in the report.


Public Speaker


Mark Godden (supporting)


Councillor Ms V Gay, local Member, stated that the planning history of the site pre-dated her time as local Member and she considered that the application should be determined by the Committee in view of the objections from the Town Council and local residents.  In the event of approval she requested that the recommended conditions be imposed.


Councillor N Lloyd stated that he had supported the previous application for three units and was surprised that the current application had received objections when the previous application had not.  The McCarthy and Stone site had been developed since that application and had changed the landscape of the road.  He stated that the application site was well screened from New Road and was in a sustainable location.  He proposed the approval of this application as recommended.


Councillor P Heinrich seconded the proposal.  He considered that the development was well designed, in modern materials and would not damage the street scene in any way.


Councillor N Pearce considered that this was a bold, highly technical application and should be approved.  He questioned why the Town Council had objected to this application when it had not objected to the previous application for three dwellings.  He considered that there was no reason to refuse the application provided the recommended conditions were imposed.


Councillor J Rest asked if the access and egress for vehicles was acceptable given the number of vehicles likely to be associated with the development, and if the large conifer hedge would cause any problems.


The Head of Planning stated that any neighbour issues with the hedge would be subject to the High Hedges legislation.


The Chairman invited Mr Godden to respond to Councillor Rest’s concerns.


Mr Godden explained that the access would be widened, and a tracking exercise had been undertaken for the previous application which indicated that vehicles could turn within the site, which would be easier under this proposal.   The hedge had never been an issue, it was regularly trimmed and there was visibility beneath it onto the road.


Councillor J Rest asked if loss of light would be an issue.


The Head of Planning explained that loss of light had been assessed and in this case the proposal would not cause loss of amenity and was therefore considered to be acceptable.


The Chairman stated that she had spoken to the case officer, who had explained that the extension would be no more obtrusive than a conservatory at the rear of the property.


RESOLVED unanimously


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




(a)         New Appeals

(b)         Inquiries and Hearings – Progress

(c)         Written Representations Appeals – In Hand

(d)         Appeal Decisions

(e)         Court Cases – Progress and Results


The Chairman congratulated the Officers on the result of the appeals, which had all been dismissed by the Planning Inspectors.  The Head of Planning stated that he would pass her comments on to the team.


 (a)       NEW APPEALS        


The Committee noted item 9(a) of the agenda.


The Head of Planning informed the Committee that Cley ENF/18/0164 was an enforcement appeal and the Council’s appeal statement would be submitted on 17 August 2020.  The Committee would be kept informed of progress.




The Committee noted item 9(b) of the agenda.


The Head of Planning informed the Committee that he would be meeting with the appellant and local Members in respect of High Kelling ENF/16/0131 to discuss this matter.  There was a community benefit attached to the activities which were taking place on the site, but there were a number of planning policy issues involved and also a number of local concerns.




The Committee noted item 9(c) of the agenda.


The Head of Planning answered Members’ questions regarding the progress of a number of appeal cases.


Holt PO/18/1857 – the Planning Inspector had decided that this appeal must be subject to a Public Inquiry, which would significantly delay a decision which would have helped inform the Local Plan and help the community move forward.  Norfolk County Council had agreed to partial funding for the school and this would be examined through the Inquiry process.  It was considered that the partial offer did not change the Council’s position in relation to the appeal.


Councillor A Brown expressed his disappointment at the delay in this matter when all parties had originally agreed to deal with the matter by the written representations procedure, and called into question the methodology used by the Planning Inspector.  The Chairman concurred with this view.


Councillor N Pearce expressed concern that Holt PM/19/0981 could also go to a Public Inquiry, although it had been agreed to deal with it under the written representations procedure.


The Chairman expressed her concerns that Public Inquiries were costly and tied up a great deal of officer time.


North Walsham ENF/18/0339 – the Planning Inspector had also decided that this matter should be dealt with at a Public Inquiry.


The Head of Planning informed the Committee that there would be two enforcement appeal hearings and a Public Inquiry to be heard in October, and it was likely that a further Public Inquiry would also be held in October.  This would be a very busy period for the team.




The Committee noted item 9(d) of the agenda.




The Committee noted item 9(e) of the agenda.