Agenda and minutes

Planning Policy & Built Heritage Working Party - Monday, 13th July, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: remotely via Zoom. View directions

Contact: Linda Yarham  Email:

No. Item




An apology for absence was received from Councillor N Dixon.  There were no substitute Members in attendance.




Two members of the public presented statements (summarised below) to the Working Party. 


Clive Albany presented his objection to recommended site BLA04 and support for BLA01/A as an alternative allocation on the following grounds:


1.     External Landscape Consultancy reports which had been commissioned  and submitted post publication of the Draft Local Plan to support the objections to BLA04/A.  No balanced consideration seems to have been given to the reports and conclusions.  The Council has not undertaken an independent landscape review to justify the preferred site allocation.  Factual inaccuracies have been identified within the Draft Plan in the site description and appraisals of BLA04/A, which brought into question the soundness of the plan and selection of the site.  The commissioned reports concurred that BLA01/A would be less conspicuous and have less visual impact in the landscape.

2.     The current Local Plan recommended BLA01/A as the preferred site and specifically discarded BLA04/A, quoting that BLA04 would be “highly visible” and have a “higher landscape impact that BLA01.  The previous plan also stated that development on BLA01/A was “well contained and any development would not sprawl into the wider landscape”.  Recommending BLA04/A is not consistent with previous site allocations for Blakeney and brings into question the soundness of the Plan.

3.     The composition of the Working Party has changed significantly since it undertook a site visit to Blakeney.  The Policy Officer has indicated that the selection of the preferred site is finely balanced and Councillors should not endorse the recommendation without fully considering the landscape impact of BLA04/A.

4.     BLA01/A is the strategic logical choice for when the next Local Plan is being worked through.  The site would be able to take many more houses using the road infrastructure that would be established without adversely impacting on the landscape. This is not the case with BLA04/A as ribbon development on BLA04 will be extremely noticeable when entering Blakeney from the south or south east.  It will have significant impacts on the view of Grade I listed St Nicholas Church.


Rob Snowling presented a supporting statement in respect of C10/1.


1.     In response to feedback from the Regulation 18 consultation and further information from the Education Authority that a new primary school would not be required, the scheme had been revised to provide a high quality landscape led scheme comprising extensive areas of enhanced public open space and green infrastructure, extra care accommodation and approximately 55 new homes (including 35% affordable homes and bungalows).

2.     A thorough assessment of the site’s landscape context and response to feedback had informed the revised scheme, which included a large area of open space along the site frontage to provide a green gateway on the western edge of Cromer whilst maintaining clear separation between Cromer and East Runton.

3.     A lower density scheme with significant reduction in the number of homes meant that additional planting could be provided throughout.

4.     The revised scheme provides for a network of interconnected green spaces, incorporating existing public rights of way and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 428 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Working Party held on 15 June 2020.


Subject to the addition of the words “On the advice of the Planning Policy Manager” to the Chairman’s recommendation to remove site HO4 from the Local Plan under Minute 7, the Minutes of the meeting of the Working Party held on 15 June 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



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.





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.


Councillor D Baker stated that he had been contacted by constituents in respect of the preferred sites at Blakeney.


Councillor P Heinrich stated that emails had been sent to all Working Party Members by a number of people in the Blakeney and Langham area.




The Chairman reported that a meeting had been arranged with Mundesley Parish Council on 17 July 2020 to discuss the allocation of a site which was deferred at the previous meeting.


Five Year Land Supply Statement 2020 pdf icon PDF 140 KB



This report seeks to publish North Norfolk District Council’s 2020 Five Year Land Supply position and the Housing Delivery Test (HDT) results. The results for both tests for 2020 are presented.






That the Statement of Five Year Land Supply 2020-2025 is published.



Cabinet Member(s)


Ward(s) affected 

Cllr Andrew Brown


Contact Officer, telephone number and email: Rakesh Dholiwar, 01263 516161



The Planning Policy Manager presented the report, and recommended that the Council publish the Five Year Land Supply Statement 2020.  He explained that the Council could currently demonstrate a five year supply of housing land, but the position was marginal.


Councillor P Heinrich asked if the Government was likely to penalise the Council if it did not deliver the required number of dwellings due to the Covid-19 situation, which was beyond its control.


The Planning Policy Manager explained that the Five Year Land Supply and Housing Delivery Test was not concerned with the reason for under-delivery.  The underlying need had not changed and the Government could either relax the requirements for a while to allow authorities to respond, or put more pressure on authorities to make up the shortfall.  It was considered likely that a major overhaul of the planning system would take place.


Councillor Ms V Gay stated that she was pleased to see that the 2016 projections were being used rather than the 2014 projections.


Councillor Mrs P Grove-Jones asked if Councillor D Baker knew how the Government was likely to respond to the situation.


Councillor Baker stated that he did not know what the Government’s thinking was on the matter and suggested that the Chairman write to him in his capacity as MP and he would approach the MHCLG on this matter.


RECOMMENDED unanimously


That the Five Year Land Supply Statement 2020 is published.



LOCAL PLAN SITE ALLOCATIONS : Briston / Melton Constable, Cromer & Blakeney pdf icon PDF 366 KB



To identify the final suite of allocations for Briston/Melton Constable, Cromer and Blakeney ahead of Regulation 19 Consultation and subsequent submission.




1.     It is recommended that Members endorse the identified sites for inclusion in the Local Plan.


2.     The final policy wording is delegated to the Planning Policy Manager.




Cabinet Member(s)


Ward(s) affected

All Members

All Wards


Contact Officer, telephone number and email:


Mark Ashwell, Planning Policy Manager, 01263 516325,

Iain Withington Planning Policy Team Leader  01263 516034,


Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Manager presented the report and site assessment booklets relating to proposed allocations for Briston/Melton Constable, Cromer and Blakeney.  He outlined the main issues relating to each settlement and recommended sites for inclusion in the Local Plan, ahead of Regulation 19 consultation and subsequent submission.  


Briston/Melton Constable


Councillor A Brown stated that the relief of traffic congestion which would arise from the development of the preferred sites would be of considerable benefit to Briston.  He was not aware of any objections from either Briston or Melton Constable Parish Councils.


Councillor J Punchard asked if there would be a comment in the document regarding work being done by the Norfolk Orbital Railway Group which was trying to link the railway from Holt to Fakenham and back to Dereham.  Land to the north of Briston would be required for the railway line.


The Planning Policy Manager stated that it was not appropriate to include it as a caveat to the site allocations, but reference could be made in the Local Plan document that development should not prejudice the railway line.


Councillor Mrs P Grove-Jones asked if site 102/A was liable to come forward in the future as it would accommodate a large number of dwellings.


The Planning Policy Manager stated that a decision on site 102/A was for the next plan.  The recommended sites would provide enough growth for the next 15 to 20 years.


RECOMMENDED unanimously


1.     That the following sites be included in the Local Plan:


Site Ref


Gross Area (ha)

Indicative Dwellings


Land East of Astley Primary School




Land West of Astley Primary School




2.     That the final policy wording is delegated to the Planning Policy Manager.





The Planning Policy Manager addressed the issues raised by Mr Albany in respect of BLA04/A and his suggested alternative BLA01.  He stated that the recommended site would have a landscape impact, but BLA01 was also visible from Langham Road.  Both sites contributed positively to the landscape and development on either site would have a landscape impact.  With regard to BLA01, the Highway Authority had indicated that vehicular access onto Morston Road could not be achieved, nor would it deliver the necessary visibility splays and BLA05 would have to be crossed to provide access to Langham Road.  The lower part of BLA01 was relatively unobtrusive in the landscape, but development on the upper part of the site would be highly visible, although the impact could be mitigated if it were given over to landscaping.  On balance, BLA04/A was preferred due to the access requirements.


At the invitation of the Chairman, Mr Albany explained how he considered that the development of BLA01 would provide safe connections to the village and how it could enable small scale development going forward into the next Local Plan.  He considered that the development would sit well in the landscape if suitably designed.


Councillor Ms K Ward, the local Member, stated that the highway issue had been raised when  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.