Agenda and minutes

Planning Policy & Built Heritage Working Party - Monday, 14th September, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: remotely via Zoom. View directions

Contact: Linda Yarham  Email:

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors T Adams and J Punchard.  One substitute Member attended as shown above.






MINUTES pdf icon PDF 431 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Working Party held on 17 August 2020.


The Minutes of a meeting of the Working Party held on 17 August 2020 were approved as a correct record.



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.








Local Plan Draft Policy HOU2 - Housing Mix, Types, and Tenures pdf icon PDF 238 KB



This report considers the representations made at Regulation 18 stage of plan preparation and seeks to agree a final policy approach to the provision of the right mix of dwellings in terms of size, affordability and tenure.




1.       That Working Party recommends the revised Policy approaches in Appendix 2 to Cabinet.


2.       That the Working Party recommends to Cabinet that the Local Plan does not include a policy in relation to second home occupation.




Cabinet Member(s)


Ward(s) affected

All Members

All Wards



Contact Officer, telephone number and email:


Mark Ashwell Planning Policy Manager 01263 516325,




Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Manager updated the Working Party on the current stage of draft Local Plan preparation and outlined the next stages.


The Planning Policy Manager explained that the housing mix was intended to deliver the type of housing that was required. 


The Planning Policy Manager stated that it was not proposed to include a policy relating to second homes as it could only be applied to a small number of new properties and there was no legal mechanism to apply a restriction on existing dwellings.  In the areas which were most affected by second home ownership, a significant proportion of new homes would be affordable dwellings which could not become second homes.


Councillor D Baker considered that one of the ways to counteract second home ownership was to build more affordable dwellings, and asked the Planning Policy Manager how he considered the changes in the planning regime would help to deliver more affordable homes.  He also asked if it was possible to apply a Council Tax levy on second homes in order to maintain services during the winter months in the areas most affected.


The Planning Policy Manager explained that Council Tax lay outside the Local Plan, which was concerned only with land use matters.  The Local Plan was only one of the powers the Council had at its disposal to deal with the second homes issue.  Local authorities had tried to lobby the Government for many years to introduce controls over existing housing stock, such as a change of use requirement to use a dwelling as a second home.  Without such controls, 95% of the housing stock remained available for second homes.  Some Cornish authorities had also lobbied the Government for a higher Council Tax rate on second homes to be used exclusively for infrastructure.


Councillor Mrs S Bütikofer was not convinced that affordable housing would solve the problem of second homes along the coast, given the demographic of the area and the number of people who wanted to retire there.  Affordable homes were often not delivered along the coastal area.  She considered that any additional Council Tax money raised from homes which remained empty for most of the year would be given to the County Council and would not come back to this Council to fund affordable housing.


The Chairman stated that in affordable housing zone 2, house prices were 87% above the national average, which demonstrated how affordability was impacted by second homes.  The Council was trying to promote local homes for local need and he considered that in responding to the White Paper, the Council should make a request for zoned planning control so that second homes that were not used for 270 days of the year would become a specific use category and purchasers would be required to seek permission to use a dwelling for that purpose.  However, it would require national legislation and could be done through the Local Plan.


The Planning Policy Manager explained that the Local Plan was the wrong vehicle  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.



An oral presentation will be given, followed by discussion.


The Planning Policy Manager reported that the Government’s White Paper consultation on planning reforms had set out its desire to deliver 300,000 – 330,000 new dwellings per year, which would increase the number of dwellings to be delivered in North Norfolk to 730 per year.  The Government had also indicated that there would be a further review to consider possible mitigation for constrained authorities, such as North Norfolk, but as this had not been published alongside the White Paper there was no indication as to whether or not the target would be reduced.  The draft Local Plan could possibly deliver 550-560 dwellings per year, but it was 3000 dwellings short of the Government’s new target.    The Planning Policy Manager considered that the higher number would not be deliverable without seriously risking the environment, with developments that were not supported by appropriate infrastructure. 


The Government had accepted that those authorities with plans that were sufficiently advanced could rely on the existing methodology for a period of time.  If the draft Plan could be submitted for examination within a year, it was possible that the transitional arrangements would apply.  However, the Plan would be subject to review once it was through the examination process.  Failure to submit within the timescale would oblige the Council to deliver the higher number which would mean starting the plan again and considering a different distribution strategy.


Councillor D Baker stated that there was a great deal of concern at the uplift in shire counties.  He considered that the metric that had been used was incorrect and would take back the concerns in his capacity as MP.  He considered that the overall aims and objectives were right, but considered that the majority of building should take place in metropolitan areas where a higher density could be achieved.


Councillor Mrs S Bütikofer stated that she was reassured by Councillor Baker’s position.  There was a great deal of concern over the White Paper, and although there was agreement that planning needed to change and improve, it was important that districts such as North Norfolk should not be disadvantaged.


The Chairman expressed concern at the effect of the new methodology and was not convinced that the new build targets were justified as there was no information as to how the figure had been calculated and why it had not been broken down into a regional basis.  He asked if the new methodology would be mandatory or could be challenged.


The Planning Policy Manager stated that the Government would like to move towards a mandatory target and ensure that homes were delivered, but even if it became mandated in legislation there was scope for legal challenge on the basis of lack of evidence to support it.  He supported the view that there was a need to address housing delivery, but there had to be a sensible balance.  He considered that it was unlikely that there would be the capacity or market demand to deliver 730 dwellings per year in North Norfolk.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.