Agenda and minutes

Planning Policy & Built Heritage Working Party - Monday, 19th July, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: remotely via Zoom. View directions

Contact: Linda Yarham  Email:

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ms V Gay and Dr C Stockton.  Councillor G Mancini-Boyle was unable to join the meeting due to technical issues.






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To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Working Party held on 17 May 2021.


The Minutes of a meeting of the Working Party held on 17 May 2021 were approved as a correct record.


The Chairman referred to Minute 105 and expressed disappointment that information regarding the parking of motor homes had not yet been put on the website. 



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.  Members are requested to refer to the attached guidance and flowchart.







This report updates Members on the progress made in finalising the Proposed Submission version of the emerging Local Plan ahead of Regulation 19 consultation





That Members note the progress made.


Cabinet Member(s)


Ward(s) affected

Cllr J Toye portfolio holder for Planning

All Wards


Contact Officer, telephone number and email:


Iain Withington, Planning Policy Team Leader, 01263 516034



Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Team Leader presented an update report on the progress on finalising the Local Plan.  He presented on screen the emerging Regulation 19, Proposed Submission Version of the Local Plan, which had been restructured to place greater emphasis on climate change issues, and gave the Working Party a walkthrough of the various emerging sections as outlined in Appendix 1 to the report.  He outlined the next steps in the process and the outstanding work streams that were required prior to the finalisation of the Plan ahead of consideration by the Working Party.


The Chairman stated that it was encouraging to see that sustainability, climate change and biodiversity were central to the design of the Plan.  He asked for clarification of the requirement for biodiversity net gain, whether the Council would be required to maintain a register of available land and how the requirement would be imposed upon developers.


The Planning Policy Team Leader explained that the Environmental Bill would introduce a legislative requirement for 10% biodiversity enhancement and a plan for how it would be managed over a 30 year period.  The proposed policy would align with that requirement, and include a sequential approach to provision.  Metrics for measuring biodiversity had been devised by the Government, in association with DEFRA. Developers would be required to measure the existing on-site biodiversity and submit it to the local planning authority with a plan as to how 10% gain would be achieved and be able to demonstrate how it would be established and maintained over 30 years.  Whilst the Council would monitor the biodiversity provision, the Planning Policy Team Leader did not think the Council would be required to maintain a register of land that was available for biodiversity net gain but it was likely that landowners who had land they could set aside for that purpose would market it as a commercial asset.  It was likely that the requirement would be imposed by a condition on the planning permission or by a planning obligation.  It was probable that a future supplementary planning document would be required to detail and explain how the new requirements would work in practice.


Councillor N Lloyd thanked the team for the effort being put into the climate change process.  He asked if there was awareness of how the Plan compared to other authorities’ Plans with regard to climate change.


The Planning Policy Team Leader stated that in his opinion this Council’s Plan was at the forefront in its emphasis on climate change. Some authorities were requesting a higher percentage of biodiversity net gain, but NNDC did not have the evidence to substantiate a higher target than that required from the emerging legislation.  The policies were aligned with Government policy and ambition in terms of carbon and greenhouse gas reduction to 2050, as distinct from the Council’s ambition for its own business by 2030. It is still likely that the government will introduce amendments to the Building Regulations to ensure future homes move towards carbon net  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.





To support the Broads Authority application to secure designation of How Hill as a Dark Sky Discovery Site




This proposal complements the defined characteristics and valued features of the Settled Farmland Landscape Type as set out in the North Norfolk Landscape Character Assessment (2021 SPD) and accords with the relevant environment policies within the Local Plan.




That NNDC in principle supports the Broads Authority application to secure nomination of How Hill as a Dark Sky Discovery Site


Cabinet Member(s)


Ward(s) affected

Cllr J Toye


St Benets

Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Cathy Batchelar, Landscape Officer

Tel: 516155

Iain Withington, Planning Policy Team Leader Tel 516034



Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Team Leader presented a report that sought support for a proposal by the Broads Authority to nominate How Hill, Ludham for nomination as a Dark Sky Discovery Site.  He reported that two of the areas shown on the map within the appendix to the report had subsequently been removed from the proposal and only the main viewing area was now proposed for designation.


The Chairman asked what measures were proposed to prevent unauthorised use of the car park site for camping, overnight parking of motorhomes, antisocial behaviour etc.


The Planning Policy Manager explained that the site was managed by the Broads Authority as an existing visitor destination.  He considered that it was unlikely that the designation would encourage antisocial behaviour or exacerbate any issues that might already exist.  He suggested that any concerns regarding security in relation to the car park could be flagged in the Council’s response.


The Planning Policy Manager stated that the Broads Authority’s assessment mentioned that the access was open to the public at all times and safety was not deemed to be a major risk.


The Chairman stated that he was happy with the suggestion and was very supportive of the proposed designation.


Councillor J Toye expressed concern with regard to access for disabled visitors.  He also queried the public consultation on this proposal.


The Planning Policy Team Leader stated that the proposal had been brought to the Broads Authority by members of the community and it was supported by the Parish Council.  He considered it unlikely that the proposal had gone out to wider consultation, but this could be raised with the Broads Authority.


With regard to disabled access, the Planning Policy Team Leader stated that he did not have detailed knowledge of the site but the Council’s response could be made subject to the guarantee of appropriate disabled access to the main viewing area.


Councillor H Blathwayt, NNDC representative on the Broads Authority, confirmed that the car park surface was suitable for wheelchairs.  He stated that How Hill was occupied for the majority of the time as an educational establishment for residential school parties, and therefore the car park was overseen. He stated that one of the main points of access was from the river, which would help with traffic flow.  He considered that it was unlikely that the site would become more popular than it was already. 


Councillor Mrs P Grove-Jones stated that the site was very well supervised and efficiently run.  She stated that people should be aware of the hazards when crossing the open area at night and could not expect the site to be tarmacked. 


It was proposed by Councillor J Toye, seconded by Councillor P Heinrich and


RECOMMENDED unanimously


That the application by the Broads Authority to secure nomination of How Hill as a Dark Sky Discovery Site be supported in principle.





To  seek agreement on the way forward for site allocations in the draft Local Plan particularly in relation to the final selection of sites at Cromer.





  1. That the Shell Petrol Filling Station Site at Fakenham is included as a proposed allocation in the Regulation 19 Plan.
  2. That, in light of the Gladman Appeal decision no further allocations are made in Holt.
  3. That officers investigate, on a without prejudice basis, an enlarged allocation at Norwich Road, Cromer 



Cabinet Member(s)


Ward(s) affected

Cllr J Toye



Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Mark Ashwell, Planning Policy Manager,

Tel. 0263 516325



The Planning Policy Manager presented a report updating the Working Party on the progress on the outstanding site allocations at Fakenham, Holt and Cromer.  He stated that the report erroneously referred to resolving site allocations in Cromer and apologised for any concerns this had caused.  He was seeking a steer from the Working Party with regard to further negotiations to secure further opportunities for growth in Cromer before bringing back the options to the Working Party.


The Chairman asked if there was a possibility of grant funding from Homes England to resolve the infrastructure issues to free up sites, particularly in relation to Roughton Road, Cromer.


The Planning Policy Manager explained that the visibility at the junction of Roughton Road with Felbrigg Road was extremely restricted, with limited opportunity to deliver any meaningful improvement, and any significant increase in traffic would be unacceptable to the Highway Authority.  A link road between Roughton Road and Norwich Road would have the potential to exacerbate the problem.  Roughton Road was almost at capacity in terms of traffic movements and had not been shown as being capable of improvement to an appropriate standard, but there was a possibility that the Highway Authority might accept a modest amount of development.  However, there was further work required on the options that might be available.


Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett stated that she understood that the applicants in respect of the Gurney proposal had almost resolved the highway issues.


The Planning Policy Manager stated that there was a need to distinguish between the planning application on the site and the potential allocation.  He explained that the planning application had to be deliverable, with all issues resolved, whereas the site allocation had to be developable, which was a lower test requiring a reasonable prospect of development.  The planning application indicated a form of vehicular access, a roundabout and a pedestrian bridge over the railway.  The Highway Authority had indicated that it did not object to the proposals but there was uncertainty as to whether the applicant was in a position to deliver the railway bridge.  It was unlikely that the application would come before the Development Committee in the near future as those issues were still being explored.  The sports pitch provision on the proposal was rather squeezed as a result of having to provide elderly persons’ accommodation.  The Planning Policy Manager considered that enlargement of the site would give flexibility to improve the scheme. 


Councillor Mrs Fitch-Tillett asked if additional land for housing would encroach on the AONB.


The Planning Policy Manager stated that all the Cromer sites, with the exception of Clifton Park, would encroach on the AONB, which might raise issues at the examination.  There was a tension between addressing needs and protecting the environment and a balanced judgement had to be made.  He considered that it was not a sustainable option to say that Cromer should not grow.  There was also a complication that the sites were in adjacent parishes.


Councillor N Pearce stated that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.



To receive a verbal update.


The Senior Planning Officer gave a verbal presentation on the consultation feedback in respect of the North Walsham West extension.  The consultation had been web based due to the ongoing pandemic and ran from 24 May to 24 June 2021.  The consultation presented to the public initial high level ideas as to how the site could be developed, which built on the dialogue with stakeholders and partners over the past year.  The draft aims and key requirements were presented to the public, with a plan indicating how the site could be laid out.  There had been excellent work by the Council’s Communications Team in getting the message out to the public.  Over 430 individual responses were received from approximately 200 people, with a number of more technical representations from partners and stakeholders.


A number of stakeholder events had been held with the Town Council and other local stakeholders, which included a technical workshop with the Highway Authority and an environmental and green infrastructure workshop.   


One of the main issues raised in the consultation related to traffic and transport, with concerns about the existing traffic conditions and potential for future congestion.  People were keen that cycling and walking connections into the town and to key services were considered.  There were many comments regarding the delivery of the link road, with some requesting early delivery and some questioning if it would be delivered. 


The next stage of highway work had been commissioned to look in more detail at the northern link road and its links into the industrial estate.  The design code and place making would put focus on cycling and walking to ensure that sustainable principles were at the heart of the development.  There would be ongoing partnership working with technical partners and local stakeholders on these issues.


Another key issue was infrastructure, with concerns raised over its delivery and impact on services that were already stretched.  A District-wide Infrastructure Position Statement was being prepared to assess the infrastructure requirements on a broad basis, but detailed work was being undertaken with stakeholders on the infrastructure requirements for North Walsham and how they would be delivered.  There were no significant showstoppers but further work was needed to gain a full understanding of the issues.


There had already been dialogue with the NHS, Primary Care Trust and others regarding healthcare provision on the site and in North Walsham generally, and a meeting would be held to gain further understanding of primary care provision in the town and what land could potentially be provided as part of the proposals to support it.


A large number of comments had been received on climate change and environment, with concerns regarding building on agricultural land, loss of habitats and general impact on the environment of the scale of building proposed.  A great deal of support had been received for the green space approach and representations had been made regarding improvements to make the scheme more sustainable.  The sustainable principles of walking and cycling had been well  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.