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TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DETAILS OF ANY SUBSTITUTE MEMBER(S)
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Dr C Stockton and A Varley. There were no substitute Members in attendance.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of meetings of the Committee held on 20 May and 3 June 2021.
The Minutes of meetings of the Committee held on 20 May and 3 June 2021 were approved as correct records and signed by the Chairman.
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.
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. Members are requested to refer to the attached guidance and flowchart.
BLAKENEY - PF/20/1347 - Variation of condition 5 (Caravan occupancy period restrictions) of planning permission ref: PF/19/0768 (Change of use of land (paddock) to enable the relocation of an existing static caravan business), to permit caravans to be occupied from 20 March to 02 January in any one year for holiday occupation at Grimes Caravan Site, Langham Road, Blakeney for Mr Bunn PDF 422 KB
The Chairman stated that the reference number for this application was PF/20/1347 and not 1904 as printed in the Members’ agendas.
The Development Management Team Leader presented the report by remote link and recommended approval of this application as set out in the report. A copy of the visual presentation had previously been forwarded to the Committee.
Rosemary Thew (Blakeney Parish Council)
Councillor Dr V Holliday, the local Member, stated that this was a finely balanced application, with concerns regarding the impact of winter residency of the caravans on the AONB and dark skies and the precedent for the intensification of nearby caravan and camping sites balanced against the economic benefits to the area. She stated that the dark skies discovery site at Wiveton Downs was a short distance from the site and there had been no discussion with regard to the mitigation of the impact of light pollution on the AONB. November and December, when daylight hours were very short, was an important time for migrating birds and the lighting and traffic movements would have an impact. Blakeney Parish Council considered that the additional income that could be generated in the village did not outweigh the risks, but had balanced their view against a recent Ministerial Statement and the views of businesses. She had brought the matter to Committee as there was a great deal of interest on both sides.
Councillor G Mancini-Boyle considered that the proposal would set a precedent for other sites to open during the winter months. He was concerned that the additional traffic generated would be detrimental for the environment and questioned the need for this proposal.
Councillor R Kershaw, speaking as Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Growth, stated that businesses had suffered very badly over the last 15 months. A Ministerial Statement had been issued in support of this type of proposal. He proposed approval of this application as recommended.
Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett reminded the Committee that it was the Local Planning Authority’s duty to conserve the special qualities of the AONB. She was very concerned at the impact on dark skies, particularly during the winter. She stated that the proposal did not set a precedent as there were caravan sites in her Ward that operated during the winter period. She shared the concerns that had been expressed by the Parish Council and Local Member and would therefore oppose this application.
Councillor P Heinrich stated that this matter was very finely balanced, but the main issue in his opinion related to external lighting. He stated that low level downlighting would minimise any disruption and he hoped that Officers could work with the applicant on a sensible approach. It was necessary to further develop tourism in the area to extend it beyond the season and main tourist areas. There would be some economic benefit, but how much was a matter for debate. He requested a two year temporary permission to allow for the outcomes to be assessed.
The Assistant Director for Planning explained ... view the full minutes text for item 11.
The Landscape Officer (Arboriculture) presented the report by remote link and recommended that the Tree Preservation Order be confirmed.
The Assistant Director for Planning explained that an appendix that had been circulated with the printed copies of the agenda had been revised and redacted. The revised appendix had been circulated to the Committee by email and a printed copy had been placed on Members’ desks. He requested that Members give no weight to the original version of the appendix.
Claire Middleton (supporting)
The Chairman stated that she was the local Member for this item. She had viewed the tree from Laxfield Road and Moor Road. Oak trees supported a great diversity of wildlife, unlike conifer trees, and whilst deciduous trees dropped leaves, conifers also dropped cones and needles. She stated that house buyers should be aware that established trees had probably been there longer than the house and should take it into consideration when deciding whether or not to buy the property. She supported the Tree Preservation Order.
Councillor N Pearce supported the TPO and considered that remedial work to the damaged tree should be charged to the person who carried out the work. He considered that the Council had acted proportionally and correctly in this matter. He proposed that the Order be confirmed as recommended.
Councillor R Kershaw stated that it was a case of caveat emptor when buying a house next to an established tree. He supported the TPO.
The Chairman stated that trees could be crown trimmed or trimmed from below to allow light through, but work should be carried out by a professional tree surgeon.
The Assistant Director for Planning explained that it was not possible to impose a charge on the person who had carried out the previous work. However, confirmation of the Order would ensure that the tree was protected, its future management considered under proper arboricultural management and any necessary work carried out to suitable arboricultural standards. It was considered that the tree was important and should be retained, and he requested that the Committee focus on the merits of the tree and the benefits of its future management under a TPO.
That Tree Preservation Order 21/0001 (Sutton) be confirmed.
(a) New Appeals
(b) Inquiries and Hearings – Progress
(c) Written Representations Appeals – In Hand
(d) Appeal Decisions
(e) Court Cases – Progress and Results
The Assistant Director for Planning updated the Committee on a number of appeal matters.
(a) NEW APPEALS
The Committee noted item 9(a) of the agenda.
(b) INQUIRIES AND HEARINGS - PROGRESS
The Committee noted item 9(b) of the agenda.
Aylmerton PF/20/0691 – this appeal would now be dealt with under the written representations procedure.
In the light of the Inspector’s decision on Holt PO/18/1857 (below), case officers were now writing to appellants suggesting that it was inappropriate to raise issues concerning housing land supply and national housing methodology at inquiries and hearings.
Cley-next-the-Sea ENF/18/0164 – further issues had arisen in this case that would result in the consideration of the planning application being delayed pending a response from the appellant/applicant. An undertaking had been given to the Local Member that any amended plans would be the subject of further consultation with interested parties and the Parish Council.
(c) WRITTEN REPRESENTATIONS APPEALS - IN HAND
The Committee noted item 9(c) of the agenda.
High Kelling ENF/16/0131 – the Planning Inspector had indicated that he would issue a decision in 5 weeks from the date of the site inspection but a decision was still awaited. The Assistant Director for Planning stated that he would press the Inspector for a decision.
(d) APPEAL DECISIONS
The Committee noted item 9(d) of the agenda.
Holt PO/18/1857 – the appeal had been allowed, which was disappointing. However, the decision had been positive in that the Inspector had upheld the Council’s housing land supply in excess of 6 years and its calculation methods. This would allow the Local Plan to move forward towards submission and examination, and also meant that the existing housing policies still carried weight in determining planning applications. The appellant’s application for costs had been refused. A summary of this case would be prepared for a future meeting of the Committee.
The Chairman informed the Committee that she understood that Norfolk County Council was actively considering the development of a primary school on the site. The uncertainty regarding such provision had been a matter of concern when the Committee considered the planning application.
(e) COURT CASES – PROGRESS AND RESULTS
The Committee noted item 9(e) of the agenda.