TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr
A Fitch-Tillett, Cllr A Yiasimi and Cllr A Varley.
There were no substitutes in attendance at the
MINUTES PDF 328 KB
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of
a meeting of the Committee held on Thursday 1st
The minutes of the Development Committee
meeting held Thursday 1st September 2022 were approved as a correct
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 PDF 721 KB
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.
Cllr V Holliday declared a non-pecuniary
interest in agenda Item 8, PF/21/1878. She advised that she had
taken guidance on this matter and had been informed that she could
participate in the meeting and that could vote on the
Cllr A Brown declared a non-pecuniary interest
in agenda Item 8, PF/21/1878, for the same reasons as outlined by
Cllr V Holliday.
Bacton PF/21/1878 - Proposed ground mounted solar photovoltaic array and associated infrastructure; Land East of Bacton Gas Terminal (known as Seagull's Field), Paston Rd, Bacton. PDF 578 KB
The DMTL introduced the Officers report and
recommendation for approval subject to the outlined conditions. He
advised that since the publication of the Agenda, the
pre-commencement conditions set out on p.39 had been agreed and
signed on 20th September.
Further, the DMTL advised that the Officers
recommendations had been updated to reflect feedback from the
Highways Authority with the inclusion of an additional condition
which would mitigate against glint and glare from the solar farm on
larger vehicles. Should Members be minded to approve, final wording
would be delegated to the Assistant Director for
The DMTL noted following the agenda
publication questions had been received regarding the detailed
contained therein. He clarified that the 12% figure detailed
related to the electric generated by the Solar Project resulting in
a 12% forecasted decrease in the amount of energy supplied to the
gas terminal from the National Grid. Additionally, he informed
Members that an online petition on change.org objecting to the
proposal been received with 580 signatories, the basis of the
objection was detailed in p.21 – 23 of the Officer
Fiona Hollis – Objecting
Damian Baker (RenEnergy Ltd)–
- The DM relayed a statement from Cllr
W Fredricks who was unable to attend the meeting. Cllr W Fredricks
welcomed the opportunity for residents to give their views on
Seagulls Field and noted it had been a long process. She affirmed
that the local authority wished to work with residents and ensure
their voices were heard by decision makers.
- Cllr G Mancini-Boyle commented that
his concerns regarding the anti-glint coating applied to the panels
had been addressed, and that he considered the solution acceptable.
He noted that objections had been raised relating to unwanted
criminal activity and asked if Officers had any knowledge of theft
or damage to other Solar Arrays.
- The DM affirmed that he was not
aware of any criminal damage to the 150mw of Solar Arrays located
within the District, including any theft of cables. He advised that
the project would make a significant difference to the site and
that the proposal was supported by NNDC Policies and aligned with
the Councils Climate Emergency declaration.
- Cllr V Holliday noted that there had
been much opposition from the community and considered that the
benefit of the 12% energy generation was quite small. She stated
that she did not agree with Officers assessment that the proposal
was supported by NNDC Core Policies nor did she agree that the
proposal required its specific setting within the undeveloped
- Cllr N Lloyd provided clarity over
the concerns surrounding the potential for criminal activity, and
stated that the site was protected by armed Ministry of Defence
Police 24/7. He thanked Officers for their comprehensive report and
commended Officers and the Applicant for working together to
produce the proposal, noting it was perhaps the longest set of
conditions he had ever seen for a planning proposal. Cllr N Lloyd
considered that the 12% energy use figure was a significant
view the full minutes text for item 45.
Walcott - PF/22/0738 - Use of agricultural land as a seasonal car park from June to October (inclusive) each year for Mr and Mrs H Barringer. Walcott Beach Car Park, Coast Road, Walcott. PDF 469 KB
The SPO introduced the Officers Report and
recommendation for approval subject to conditions. He advised of a
slight amendment to the wording of the proposal for the seasonal
car park to start operation from May, and not June as detailed.
The SPO took Members through aerial images of
the site, site plans including entrance and egress routes, flood
risk maps, and photographs of the area. He advised that the site
was estimated to provide 138 spaces as agreed with NCC Highways.
Whilst the site was located within a flood zone, Officers had
worked with the Environment Agency who were satisfied that there
would be no significant risk to life by consequence of the
The SPO reiterated the highways conditions
stipulated in the recommendation and assured Members that if they
were minded to grant permission, all conditions must be satisfied
before the applicant would be able to commence operation in
Rebecca Barringer –
- The Chairman expressed her
disappointment that the Local Member, who had called the item to
Committee, was absent and had failed to submit a written statement
in his absence. She reminded Members of the expectation to attend
or submit a written representation for applications they refer to
- Cllr R Kershaw commented that he was
familiar with the site located on a busy part of the coast and of
the challenges surrounding on street parking. He stated he was
surprised that this item had been called to Committee, as he
considered the proposal to be sensible, remedying an existing
problem, and it had the support of the local village. Cllr R
Kershaw proposed acceptance of the Officers recommendation for
approval subject to the outlined conditions.
- Cllr P Heinrich seconded the
proposal and stated that it was a desperately needed facility in
Walcott, in an acceptable location, well designed and well
- Cllr L Withington spoke in support
of the application, and acknowledged the community support it had
received. She recounted her experiences at Walcott helping eldering
relatives in and out the car during busy periods, and affirmed that
this was a much needed facility which would benefit the local
- Cllr V Holliday noted the positive
aspects of the proposal but considered that as the Council was
working towards being carbon-neutral, the number of car journeys to
the coast should be discouraged. Instead the Council should
consider operation of a park and ride facility into Walcott as the
long-term vision was for fewer car movements and not more.
- Cllr N Pearce noted that car parks
often sparked controversy, but agreed with Members that there was a
need for a carpark in Walcott.
- Cllr A Brown expressed his support
for the scheme which he considered to benefit the community, and
concurred with Members experiences of the chaos along that section
of road during the high season. He asked if Highways were
considering a review of parking restrictions on the road,
particularly opposite the proposed entry and exit points.
- Cllr G Mancini-Boyle asked if
view the full minutes text for item 46.
DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE UPDATE PDF 150 KB
- The DM introduced the Development
Management Performance report and spoke to improvements of both
Major and Non-Major Performance with 95% of Non-Major performance
agreed within time and 92% of Majors agreed in time.
- The PL updated Members of the S106
obligations detailed within the report and confirmed that both the
Sea Marge and West Raynham agreements had been completed, with
revised paperwork sent out to Scottow Enterprise Park. She advised
that those appeals shaded at the top of the report were held in
abeyance due to Nutrient Neutrality.
APPEALS SECTION PDF 400 KB
Inquiries and Hearings – Progress
Representations Appeals – In Hand
Cases – Progress and Results
- The DM introduced the appeals report
and invited Members questions. He advised that the Planning
Inspectorate had not reached many decisions within the last few
weeks and the Council were awaiting the outcome of several cases.
With regards to those appeals which had been decided, one of which
had been withdrawn, and the other dismissed by the Planning
Inspectorate as the appeal had been considered to be out of time.
This decision was made weeks later after the Council had already
dedicated resources in defending its decision.
- Cllr A Brown stated that the delays
within the Planning Inspectorate Service were dire, and noted that
this was not getting much attention within the press.
- The DM advised that the Planning
Inspectorate were addressing resourcing issues but there was a
backlog due to capacity issues. He commented that NNDC were limited
in what it could do to remedy the situation and that it was in the
best interest of the local authority, applicants and interested
parties, who were increasingly frustrated, that these matters be
- Cllr R Kershaw commented that he
could not see the situation improving given that the government
were seeking spending efficiencies in the short and medium
- Cllr L Withington noted that at the
Overview and Scrutiny meeting held the day prior, it was
established that the public often didn’t know the role of the
planning authority and the Planning Inspectorate. She considered it
would be beneficial to explain the process and clarify that the
delays were caused by the Planning Inspectorate and not by
- Cllr N Pearce agreed that there was
millage in explaining the decision making process to the public,
particularly given the increase in the number of appeals.
- The Chairman affirmed that it was
the democratic right for those who had their applications refused
to appeal the decision, and noted the growing number of appeals
where applicants did not like or understand why there application
had been refused. She reiterated the challenges of the Planning
Inspectorate in being understaffed, and inundated with appeals. The
Chairman expressed her support in the Council producing an
explanation document to broadly outline what happens with planning
- The ADP drew comparisons with the
Planning Inspectorate to that of an apex predator. He reminded
Members that the number of applications approved by the local
authority was extraordinarily high, the statistics of which would
be provided to Members as evidence in an enhanced update. He
commented that the increase in the number of appeals was
symptomatic of the problem and that the current planning system was
sick and ailing, and did not have the capacity of the experienced
members within the profession to support the complexities it was
dealing with. He affirmed that a review and investment was needed
in the planning process, and noted the increasing number of issues.
The ADP remarked that the Arcady appeal had been very poorly
handled by the Planning Inspectorate, and such situation was likely
to repeat itself. The ADP stated his frustrations of
the full minutes text for item 48.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
To pass the following resolution, if
Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and
public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of
business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of
exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A (as
amended) to the Act.”