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TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DETAILS OF ANY SUBSTITUTE MEMBER(S)
An apology for absence was received from Councillor N Pearce. One substitute Member attended the meeting as shown above.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on 20 August and 17 September 2020.
The minutes of meetings of the Committee held on 20 August and 17 September 2020 were approved as a correct record.
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.
SMALLBURGH - PF/19/1287 - Conversion and extension of traditional barns to offices (B1) and use of portal frame barn for associated car parking; Church Farm, Church Road, Smallburgh, NR12 9NB for Worstead Farms Ltd PDF 320 KB
The Senior Planning Officer presented the report and referred to the slides that had previously been circulated to the Committee. He recommended the approval of this application as set out in the report.
Mr Gavin Paterson (supporting)
Councillor N Dixon, a local Member, stated that as the previous Cabinet Member for Economic Development, he fully recognised the importance of regenerating redundant premises to support the local economy. However, it was necessary to take into account the local infrastructure and the environment. In this case, the degree of reliance on the poor local road network and car travel made the location unsustainable for a business centre with conference facilities. He outlined his concerns with regard to road safety in respect of traffic exiting the site close to the A1151/A149 junction. He considered that the site was too remote for the applicant’s aspirations with regard to bus transport to be effective and that most travel would be by car. He fully supported the objections raised by the Highway Authority and Parish Council on sustainability grounds, and expressed surprise that the Highway Authority had not objected on highway safety grounds. He was also surprised at the officer recommendation given that sustainability was promoted in the Council’s Corporate Plan. He referred to comments made to him by the applicant that other non-agricultural business activities had been established on the site without planning permission, the traffic impacts of which would not have been taken into account by the Highway Authority. He requested that this application be refused as the location was unsustainable and unsafe.
The Head of Planning stated that enforcement and unauthorised uses were not material planning considerations.
Councillor R Kershaw considered that the proposal did not amount to a business centre, but it was office accommodation to support the agricultural sector in East Anglia. He supported small businesses locating to the countryside and considered that the restoration of the Grade II listed barn to be an advantage. He proposed the Officer’s recommendation to approve this application.
Councillor N Lloyd commended the thoroughness of the proposal, particularly with regard to biodiversity. He asked what would happen in the event of a European Protected Species Licence not being granted.
The Head of Planning explained that protected species licensing was a separate legal process, but it was necessary to impose standard conditions to require a licence to be granted prior to the commencement of work.
The Lawyer added that the condition to require the licence to be granted prior to commencement was enforceable.
Councillor Lloyd stated that he had used the road many times and it was a quiet lane, with agricultural vehicles being the main problem. He agreed with the comments relating to supporting agriculture in the area, and he was pleased that the applicant had made good provision for renewable energy. He seconded the proposal.
Councillor C Cushing questioned how the proposal met the sustainability criteria in CT5, given the comments of the local Member, Parish Council and the Highway Authority.
(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 8(a) of the agenda.
(b) INQUIRIES AND HEARINGS - PROGRESS
The Committee noted item 8(b) of the agenda.
The Head of Planning reported that the Council’s submission for the public inquiry in respect of Holt PO/18/1857 was due to be made by the end of the day. A significant issue had arisen in that the County Council had now committed to significant levels of funding to deliver the school. Members would be updated at the next meeting on this matter. In response to Members’ questions, he confirmed that the inquiry would be held remotely and he would request that all Committee Members and substitutes were given an opportunity to watch the proceedings. It was an important case as it would influence the Council’s 5 year housing land supply and method of calculating housing need in the District.
The Head of Planning informed the Committee that submissions had been made to the Planning Inspector in respect of ENF/18/0164 and a date for the inquiry was awaited. It was not known at this stage whether it would be conducted remotely or in person. Officers were continuing to liaise with the local community of Cley and it was hoped to arrange a mediation meeting with the contravener.
The Planning Inspector had asked if the appeal in respect of ENF/16/0131 could be downscaled to a written representations appeal. Local Members had been consulted and a response would be sent to the Inspector with the considered opinion from Ward Members and the Leader of the Council.
(c) WRITTEN REPRESENTATIONS APPEALS - IN HAND
The Committee noted item 8(c) of the agenda.
Councillor N Lloyd asked if a date had been set for the appeal in respect of North Walsham ENF/18/0339. The Head of Planning replied that a date had not yet been set, but it was likely that the appellant would submit a planning application to seek to regularise the situation, which may overcome the need to pursue the appeal.
Councillor J Toye stated that the appeal in respect of Erpingham PO/20/0100 had been dismissed.
(d) APPEAL DECISIONS
The Committee noted item 8(d) of the agenda.
(e) COURT CASES – PROGRESS AND RESULTS
The Committee noted item 8(e) of the agenda.
The Head of Planning stated that a report would be prepared for a future meeting in respect of the court case relating to Peacock Lane, Holt.