Agenda, decisions and minutes

Development Committee - Thursday, 10th December, 2020 9.30 am

Venue: remotely via Zoom. View directions

Contact: Linda Yarham  Email:

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Dr C Stockton and Mr A Varley.  One substitute Member was in attendance as shown above.



To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on 29 October 2020.


The Minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on 29 October 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.


All Members had received correspondence in respect of items on the agenda.


FAKENHAM - PO/17/0680 - Outline planning application (all matters except primary means of access reserved for future approval) for residential development of up to 950 dwellings (Use Class C3), employment development (Use Classes B1/B2/B8), a primary school and children's nursery (Use Class D1), a hotel (Use Class C1), local retail (Use Classes A1/A3/A4/A5) and associated public open space and infrastructure; Land north of Rudham Stile Lane & east of Water Moor Lane, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 9QU, for The Master Fellows & Scholars of Trinity College Cambridge pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Delegated conditional approval + Section 106 Agreement


The Major Projects Team Leader presented the report and plans of the proposed development.  An update note had been circulated to the Committee prior to the meeting in respect of the following matters:


·         The applicant had confirmed that 17.5% affordable housing could be provided as a baseline across the development.  However, this did not take into account the necessity for a travel plan which would reduce the baseline to 16.5%.

·         An amended Parameters Plan and Masterplan had been provided, indicating an amended position for the hotel and public house slightly further south from the roundabout and additional planting at the frontage.  Officers considered that further amendment was required as the amendments allowed more room for potential misinterpretation at reserved matters stage and did not address the Development Brief expectation.

·         The revised Parameters Plan and Masterplan now indicated an area for a possible additional 0.5 ha for an extended school site.  Officers considered that this was acceptable.

·         Clarification as to how the amount of affordable housing could be increased in the event that Members considered that renewable energy provision and/or financial contributions for indoor sports provision could be compromised in favour of securing more affordable housing within the development.


The Major Projects Team Leader presented an amended recommendation, to delegate authority to the Head of Planning to approve the application, subject to:


a.    Receiving a satisfactory amended Masterplan in respect of the hotel and public house area.

b.    Completion of a Section 106 Agreement in line with the requirements at Section 23 of the Committee report, which for the avoidance of doubt will include:

                      i.        A baseline of at least 16.5% affordable housing within each phase and

                     ii.        A contribution for indoor sports facilities enhancement.

c.     Delegated authority for officers to liaise with the applicant and seek improved viability in respect of building costs (as described within Section 24 of the report) to increase affordable housing contributions upwards from 16.5%.

d.    Conditions:

·         To include those listed as summaries set out in the report, which for the avoidance of doubt would include a Travel Plan (conditions 34 and 35 as listed) and 10% on-site renewable energy provision (condition 39 as listed); and

·         An additional condition relating to a Self Build and Custom Build Plot Passport; and

e.    Any other conditions that may be considered necessary at the discretion of the Head of Planning.


Public Speakers


Kirsty Clifton (supporting)

Chris Hatfield (supporting)


Councillor C Cushing, the local Member, stated that this was one of the most significant decisions in the history of Fakenham, which would increase the population of the town by 20%.  A travel plan was essential to ensure that bus routes worked properly and there was cycle and pedestrian access into the town, to ensure that the new development was integrated with the rest of Fakenham.  He referred to the concerns of the Town Council that the local centre should not rival the town centre and take trade away from it.  There would be a heavy demand for employment and consideration  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.


HOLT - PF/17/1803 - Residential development of 52 dwellings (including the removal of No.67 Hempstead Road), provision of new vehicular access to Hempstead Road; associated landscaping, open space, pumping station and electricity substation; Land to the rear of 67 Hempstead Road, Holt, NR25 6DQ, for Hopkins Homes Limited pdf icon PDF 611 KB

Additional documents:


Delegated conditional approval + Section 106 Agreement


The Major Projects Team Leader presented the report and plans of the proposed development.  An update note had been circulated to the Committee prior to the meeting in respect of the following matters:


·        Four additional representations had been received from one member of the public, relating to construction traffic and HGV access along Hempstead Road, the need for a new access from Heath Farm, parking for construction workers, and a request to update the Committee with outstanding comments and provide further information regarding the construction, access and parking conditions. 


Officer responses had been provided in the update note.  Most issues were already addressed in the Officer report and a condition added in respect of construction workers’ parking.


·        An updated position statement from Holt Town Council, reiterating its concerns in respect of highway safety and traffic movements, requested conditions relating to parking restrictions along Hempstead Road and construction traffic, and for the site to be accessed only from Heath Farm.

·        Additional conditions to be included in the Officer’s recommendation.


The Major Projects Team Leader recommended delegated approval of this application as set out in the report and amended by the following additional summarised conditions:


·        Construction Management Plan (materials storage, amenity protection etc.)

·        Construction vehicle access route

·        Construction parking with a phasing plan

·        Construction Site Exclusion Zone detail around the Buffer Area and Open Space

·        Cycle parking details for the flats (to be secure and covered)

·        Arboricultural Impact Assessment for the recently retained tree T11

·        Pumping station landscape scheme

·        Noise protection measures for Plot 1 (road junction and industrial noise).


Public Speaker


Chris Smith (supporting)


Holt Town Council had submitted a statement that had been circulated to all Members of the Committee prior to the meeting.


The Head of Planning reported that Councillor D Baker, a local Member, was unable to attend the meeting but had no further comments to add.


Councillor Mrs G Perry-Warnes stated that she was speaking on behalf of residents who lived on or near Hempstead Road, and with the support of Councillor Baker.  She was concerned that the impact of another junction opening onto Hempstead Road, near to a notorious pinch point, had been discounted by the Highway Authority.  She welcomed the affordable housing provision and did not oppose the application, but was disappointed that a previously promised new access from Heath Farm had not been forthcoming.  She urged the Committee to listen to the concerns of local residents and requested that the strongest conditions be applied to the permission to mitigate its impact on them.  She requested conditions relating to the following matters, some of which had been included in the recent amendments:


1.     That all construction vehicles, (HGV and staff) are required to avoid the built up area around the pinch point on Hempstead Road and that it should be enforced as anecdotal evidence is that some of the restrictions are not being complied with.  

2.     A suitable place to be provided on site for parking, deliveries and unloading. 

3.     The land at the side  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


STIFFKEY - PF/20/1202: Conversion of former army training buildings into four holiday lets suitable for disabled persons: Former Army Buildings, Greenway, Stiffkey for L G Harrison & Son pdf icon PDF 355 KB




The Planning Officer presented the report and referred to the presentation that had been forwarded to Members.  She also presented drone footage of the site and its surroundings.  She reported that the Human Rights section of the report should refer to refusal and not approval as stated.  She recommended refusal of this application as set out in the report.


The Landscape Officer emphasised the undeveloped nature of the west side of The Greenway.  She did not consider that conversion to holiday lets would be readily assimilated into the landscape given the open, undeveloped, quiet nature of this particular part of the AONB..  The proposal would have an impact on the defined special qualities of the AONB, particularly that of remoteness, tranquillity and wildness, not only in terms of the landscape and visual impact, but also through human activity and disturbance of the designated sites.  It was appropriate for the building to remain in agricultural use surrounded as it was by agricultural land.


The Planning Officer read to the Committee the comments of Councillor Ms K Ward, the local Member.  Councillor Ms Ward supported the repurposing of the existing buildings, as alternative agricultural structures would have a much greater visual impact on the landscape and increase the use of Beach Road by large machinery and lorries.  This was a low key diversification scheme for a local farming family and would be in keeping with the existing campsite on the opposite side of the road.  The proposal would minimise its visual impact and boost local economic activity at a difficult time.


Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett stated that the drone footage had been very helpful and had highlighted all the concerns.  She endorsed the comments of the Norfolk Coast Partnership.  She referred to the military history of the site.  She highlighted the concerns regarding light pollution and highway safety.  She proposed refusal of this application in accordance with the recommendation of the Head of Planning.


Councillor P Heinrich stated that the buildings were temporary WW2 structures in poor condition and with dubious historical significance.  The site was isolated from the village, with poor access and would be visible due to the lighting.  He could give no weight to the proposed use as disabled accommodation as there were no controls.  He seconded the proposal to refuse this application.


Councillor R Kershaw referred to the existing campsite, which was closer to the salt marsh than the application site.  He was concerned that if this application were refused, the buildings could be demolished and replaced by another agricultural building that could attract more traffic.  He considered that the lighting issue had been mitigated.  He did not support the recommendation.


Councillor J Toye supported Councillor Kershaw’s comments.  He stated that there were three cottages on the other side of the campsite, and he questioned the ‘significant’ effect on habitats given that there was an existing car park, campsite and boat museum.  He also questioned the highway impact when there had been no accidents at that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.


THORPE MARKET - PF/20/1037 - Two storey detached dwelling and detached double garage; The Farm House, Hall Farm Barns, Station Road, Thorpe Market for Mayes Properties Ltd pdf icon PDF 223 KB




The Interim Development Manager presented the report and referred to the presentation that had been forwarded to Members.  He recommended refusal of this application as set out in the report.


The Interim Development Manager read a statement in support of the application on behalf of Mark Mayes, who had been unable to attend to present his statement in person.


Councillor N Pearce, the local Member, considered that harm was a grey area and in his opinion the harm in this case was at the lower end of the scale.  He considered that the application was a sensitive preservation of the historical context of the site by reinstating a building that had previously existed, using local materials.  He considered that it would benefit the village and make a positive contribution to the existing complex.


In answer to a question by Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett, the Head of Planning explained that there was nothing in planning law that would allow the rebuilding of a structure that had been demolished or lost.  There was very little structure left so it was considered that the building had been abandoned and the residential use lost.  This proposal was effectively a new dwelling in the Countryside in terms of Local Plan Policies SS1 and SS2.


Councillor J Toye considered that although the site was in the Countryside, it was well connected to Norwich, Cromer and North Walsham through rail and bus services, the school was half a mile away and there was a public house nearby.


Councillor P Heinrich stated that he could see the argument for refusal in terms of Policies SS1 and SS2, but the proposal met Policies EN2, EN4, CT5 and CT6.  The proposed farmhouse would bring the farm complex back together.  However, he was not convinced that there was good accessibility to the railway station given the narrow road and dangerous bridge, and pedestrian access to the school was across fields.  The site was in an isolated location, and nothing remained of the former building.  He proposed refusal of this application in accordance with the recommendation of the Head of Planning. This was seconded by Councillor R Kershaw.


Councillor C Cushing stated that the design of the proposal was not incongruous with the existing buildings on the site and that there was reasonable access to it.  He supported the application.


Councillor A Brown stated that the proposal could not be justified as a Part Q restoration as there was little remaining of the former building.  He accepted that the situation was frustrating for the neighbours and commended the applicants on the design, but he considered that there were no material considerations that would mitigate against Policies SS1 and SS2 due to the remote location.


The Head of Planning advised the Committee that the site was in an open countryside location and failure to comply with Policies SS1 and SS2 carried considerable weight.  In order to mitigate harm the Committee had to conclude that the location was otherwise sustainable with excellent linkages, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.



(a)         New Appeals

(b)         Inquiries and Hearings – Progress

(c)         Written Representations Appeals – In Hand

(d)         Appeal Decisions

(e)         Court Cases – Progress and Results


(a)        NEW APPEALS        


The Committee noted item 11(a) of the agenda.




The Committee noted item 11(b) of the agenda.


The Head of Planning reported that the Planning Inspector had upheld the appeal in respect of Field Dalling PO/19/1249.  This was an important case for the Council as it related to an agricultural worker’s dwelling.  The Inspector disagreed with the Council’s view of the need to reuse the existing dwelling, which was occupied by a retiring agricultural worker, for the agricultural need on site and had given permission on the basis that the new building would satisfy the agricultural need.




The Committee noted item 11(c) of the agenda.




The Committee noted item 11(d) of the agenda.




The Committee noted item 11(e) of the agenda.




Councillor N Pearce expressed his disappointment that no Parish or Town representatives had been in attendance.


The Chairman stated that Holt Town Council had submitted a representation to Members.


The Head of Planning stated that representations were received from Parish and Town Councils and it was assumed that they considered their representations had been covered in the Officer reports.