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TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absense were receievd from Cllr P Heinrich.
Cllr C Ringer was present as a substitute for Cllr P Heinrich.
To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Committee held on Thursday 20th July 2023.
The minutes of the Development Committee meeting held Thursday, 20th July 2023 were approved as a correct record subject to minor typographical amendments.
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.
i. Cllr G Mancini-Boyle declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9 (Planning Application PF/21/1478) he is the Local Member and had met with the applicant. He confirmed that he did not consider himself to be pre-determined and would therefore vote on the item.
ii. Cllr C Ringer declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 10 (Planning Application PF/23/1065) he is the Local Member and had met with objectors and representatives from Broadland Housing. He advised that he had offered no indication of support or otherwise.
Egmere - RV/23/1241 - Variation of condition 4 (operational life and decommissioning period) of planning permission PF/19/1398 (Construction of 20 mw solar photovoltaic farm with associated works including inverter housing) to add an additional 13 years on the current planning consent, until 24 October 2052, at Solar Farm, Bunkers Hill, Wells Road, Egmere, Norfolk PDF 273 KB
The SPO introduced the Officers report and recommendation for approval. He advised that since the publication of the agenda the NPPF had been updated, however the modifications related on onshore wind developments and therefore would not materially alter the Officers assessment.
The SPO affirmed the sites’ location and context in its local setting. Officers considered the development to be well screened from the wider land. Further, the scheme would conform with the Local Plan and NPPF in supporting renewable energy developments.
Members questions and debate
i. Cllr J Toye proposed acceptance of the Officers recommendation and reiterated comments from prior meetings that the threshold limit for referral to Development Committee be raised for solar farm applications.
ii. Cllr A Varley thanked Officers for their report and expressed his full support for the Officers recommendation which aligned with the Council’s Net Zero commitments. He seconded the Officers recommendation for approval.
iii. Cllr V Holliday asked whether the on-site hedgerows were trimmed, why the applicant had requested 13 years specifically, and what was the output of solar farm when compared to wind turbines.
iv. The SPO commented that the hedgerow would offer less screening in wintertime when the hedge was not in leaf, regardless, there were limited public viewpoints of the site. He was uncertain why the 13 years was requested as reasons for this time-period had not been specified, though he reasoned it may be influenced by the lifespan left in the solar panels. With respect of comparable output to wind farms, he advised he was unable to provide comparable data, though noted that the output of the solar array was substantial.
v. The DM commented that it was difficult to draw a direct comparison between wind and solar energy on the site as it would depend on wind speed and other material factors. The layout of the site had been considered at the time of the original application, with an improved landscape management plan supplied which was considered an improvement.
vi. Cllr V Holliday asked if the electricity wires and telegraph poles would go if the solar array were the go.
vii. The DM advised that the pylons formed part of national infrastructure, already in situ before the original application was agreed, and that this had formed part of the reasoning in why the applicant had selected the site. It would be conditioned that once the solar array had reached the end of its permitted use, that the solar panels and associated infrastructure be removed.
viii. Cllr A Brown thanked the Case Officer for his report. He reflected that the application was for an extension of time to a previously permitted application, he was therefore surprised at the objection’s raised by Rural England given no radical change was proposed. He noted that the usual safeguards would be conditioned, which he was satisfied with, and commended officers in their detailed undertaking by securing condition 11 for the cleaning of signage.
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED by 14 votes for. ... view the full minutes text for item 40.
DILHAM - PF/21/1478 - Conversion of agricultural building with associated external alterations to indoor swimming pool for private hire at Agricultural Barns, Oak Road, Dilham, Norfolk, NR28 9PW PDF 290 KB
The DMTL introduced the Officers report and recommendation for approval. He noted that the application was referred to Committee by the Local Member, Cllr N Dixon, and that the applicant was a serving Cllr (Cllr L Paterson).
The key issues arising from the application related to matters of Highways concerns. However, the Highways Authority having considered the application determined that they had no objections to the application subject to the imposition of conditions, the contents of which were detailed in the Officers report.
One of the core matters which had taken time to resolve related to how the backwash water would be removed from the swimming pool, and how the hot tub would be managed to ensure the effluence did not drain into protected nearby sites. The DMTL advised that the associated water would be drained to a tank which would be taken off site for treatment.
The DMTL affirmed that updates to the NPPF had no material implications for the application.
Fergus Bootman – Supporting
Members debate and questions.
i. The DM recited a statement prepared by Local Member, Cllr N Dixon, who was unable to attend the meeting. Cllr N Dixon wrote that whilst he recognised the need for appropriate regeneration of redundant agricultural assets and the potential contribution it makes to the local economy, he was also very aware of the potential harm it can cause to the local environment and infrastructure - in this case the local road network.
His concern reflected that expressed by residents in very rural and remote locations about the incremental use intensification of repurposed agricultural sites and buildings accessed from a local road network never designed for such a degree growth in traffic. Moreover, public confidence that their concerns aren't properly weighed by Planning Authorities often stops residents from formally expressing their concerns. Cllr N Dixon acknowledged that, individually, applications such as this don't cause severe harm; but argued that when taken together, adjacent, or related development collectively can reach a severe level of harm. In this case, Highways judgement is that severe harm would not be caused; however, whether that's true or not won't be known until the development is in place and then it's too late to prevent the harm continuing. He considered that the harm in this case arises in the form of reduced road safety (caused by excess speed and traffic volume) from road narrowness, restricted vision on sharp bends, lack of footways and poor junction alignment on both the access route from the A149 and that via Honing.
ii. The Local Member – Cllr G Mancini-Boyle, stated he was satisfied with the conditions proposed for the discharge of water, and commended the Highways Authority’s suggestion for the implementation of a traffic management plan and booking scheme for the facilities to control the volume of traffic.
iii. The DMTL confirmed that the booking system had been conditioned (Condition 11).
iv. Cllr P Fisher advised that he attended an event in an adjacent field the week ... view the full minutes text for item 41.
The DMTL – DW introduced the Officers report and recommendation for approval. He advised, subsequent to the publication of the agenda, that a representation had been received addressed to all Committee and substitute Members which objected to the proposal on the grounds that it failed to comply with Policy HO3 as there would be two affordable housing sites within 1km of each other.
Further, amended plans had been received incorporating minor amendments relating to design and landscaping suggested by officers. These included:
· burnt red roof tiles across all plots;
· additional segmental arches and string course, added to provide interest;
· A hedge incorporated behind the meadow to provide a soft enclosure whilst retaining the transitional qualities of the meadow.
· A plan had also been provided to show electric vehicle charging points and the location of the ASHP’s.
The DMTL-DW outlined the sites’ location and relationship with its immediate setting opposite St Helens and All Saints Church and to the west of the village play area and a row of dwellings.
Officers considered that the proposed site plan reflected the existing pattern of development to the north of Church Road. The proposal would result in new access on to Church Road with an area of meadow and green space located at the front of the development along Church Road allowing views to and from the Church to be retained. Private gardens would be provided to the rear of the dwellings screened by 1.8 metres timber fencing between the properties. The Landscape Officer had raised no objections to the scheme, and it was considered that the proposed landscaping would aid in assimilating the development into its landscape setting.
The DMTL-DW detailed the proposed elevations and floorplans for each of the dwellings. He highlighted minor changes to the elevation treatment of Plots 4 and 5, roofing material and; changes to openings on Plot 2 and 3 were requested by Officers. Amended plans reflecting these amendments had now been received and were considered acceptable.
In terms of materials, the scheme proposed a mix of facing brick, flint work and timber cladding including traditional detailing to give character to the individual dwellings.
The DMTL-DW outlined the main issues for consideration and confirmed that the proposal accorded with Core Strategy policy SS2 and HO3. The proposal would help to meet a proven local housing need (as confirmed by the Council’s Strategic Housing Team). The affordable housing provided would assist local housing need at an affordable cost for the life of the property - this will be secured via S106 Obligation.
It was noted that the application was running in tandem with another affordable housing scheme in West Beckham, PF/23/1578 for 5 affordable single storey dwellings along Sheringham Road. The two sites, if granted permission, would be delivered by the same housing association (Broadland Housing) at the same time. Both sites combined would not exceed 10 units, would meet proven local need, are located adjacent to a group of 10 more dwellings where the housing will be provided ... view the full minutes text for item 42.
i. The DM introduced the Officers report and advised that this report contained two months’ worth of reporting due to the lack of a meeting in August. He spoke positively of overall performance with both Major and Non-Major applications considered within time or within an agreed extension of time.
ii. Cllr A Brown thanked Officers for their continued hard work and suggested that the figures produced by NNDC would be the envy of many other Local Authorities.
iii. The ADP advised at the recent Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Members were supplied an update on the ongoing progress of the Planning Service Improvement Plan which contained similar data and set it within the context of Authorities across East Anglia in terms of both appeals and determination of applications. He reiterated his comments that the Planning Service were seeking to develop within the Improvement Plan a broader suite of performance indicators which would be brought to Development Committee in due course. He asked that if Members had any suggestions for what they would like to see in the Performance Report in future to let himself, the DM or the Portfolio Holder for Planning know.
iv. Cllr J Toye echoed his praise for the Planning Service.
v. The DM thanked the Committee for their comments which he advised he would relay to the team.
vi. The PL confirmed, with respect to the S106 annexe, that several of those listed should be concluded by the next meeting and removed from the list.
vii. Cllr A Brown noted that the S106 outstanding for the Hindloveston application had been held up by building regulations issues, he understood this may be resolved by the end of September.
viii. The PL confirmed, in addition to Cllr A Brown’s comments, that the Council were also awaiting approval of the Biodiversity Woodland Management Plan. She stated that from a legal perspective she would like for the fire service to consider the application again in light of communication provided by the fire service to the Council in March.
(a) New Appeals
(b) Inquiries and Hearings – Progress
(c) Written Representations Appeals – In Hand
(d) Appeal Decisions
(e) Court Cases – Progress and Results
i. The DM introduced the appeals report and advised that an informal hearing was taking place for a single dwelling scheme in Blakeney, next Tuesday.
ii. With respect of the permitted appeal, the PL advised that the appeal was on the timescale to comply with the notice. The appellant had been allowed a longer timescale to comply with the notice. The appellant would still be bound by the enforcement notice and would have to tidy up the site.
iii. The DM commented that the Planning Inspector had dismissed application PF/21/3302 due to the adverse impact on the Conservation Area.
iv. Cllr J Toye asked why the application detailed on P.69 had gone from written representations to an informal hearing.
v. The DM advised that the appellant had originally asked for an informal hearing to the Planning Inspectorate, who had been persuaded to reconsider their original decision against the Council’s wishes.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
To pass the following resolution, if necessary:-
“That under 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.”