Agenda and minutes

Planning Policy & Built Heritage Working Party - Monday, 13th September, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: remotely via Zoom. View directions

Contact: Linda Yarham  Email:

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J Punchard and C Stockton.  Two substitute Members attended the meeting.




The Chairman stated that he would invite the public to speak under item 7 of the agenda.



To approve as a correct record the Minutes of a meeting of the Working Party held on 16 August 2021.


The Minutes of the previous meeting had been omitted from the agenda and had been circulated by email shortly before this meeting.  As some Members had not read them it was agreed to defer consideration of the Minutes until the next meeting.



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.


All Working Party Members had been lobbied extensively by residents and a developer in respect of item 7 on the agenda.


Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett declared that the landowner of land behind Pine Tree Farm was a friend.  She had had discussions in the past and attended a site visit to consider some issues but did not consider herself to have been lobbied and was clear in her conscience that she was able to proceed.  




The Planning Policy Manager referred to Minute 17 of the previous meeting in relation to the categorisation of Happisburgh as a Small Growth Village in the Local Plan.  He had stated that the shop and post office in the village had closed and as a consequence Happisburgh no longer met the criteria for designation.  Subsequent to that meeting he had found out that the shop and post office were still open, although the premises were for sale and a planning application had been submitted, but not yet determined, for change of use of the premises to a dwelling.  He understood that there was local interest in purchasing the property as a going concern and there was a reasonable prospect that the shop and post office would continue to operate.  He recommended that the Working Party reverse its decision to remove Happisburgh from the list of Small Growth Villages and give delegated powers to the Planning Policy Manager in consultation with the Chair of the Working Party and local Member to make the final decision as late in the Plan preparation process as possible having regard to the circumstances at the time.




That the decision to remove Happisburgh from the list of Small Growth Villages be reversed and that the Planning Policy Manager in consultation with the Chair of the Working Party and local Member be authorised to make the final decision on the status of Happisburgh as late in the Plan preparation process as possible having regard to the circumstances at the time.



Local Plan Site Allocations - Cromer pdf icon PDF 229 KB



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 land west of Cromer adjacent to Norwich Road is included in the Reg19 Local Plan as an allocation for approx. 400 dwellings, Sports pitches, elderly persons accommodation, open space and supporting infrastructure and that development of the site accords with a single comprehensive master plan and phasing agreement.

2. That land at Clifton Park is allocated in the Reg19 Plan for approx. 55 dwellings, elderly care accommodation and public open space.


Cabinet Member(s)


Ward(s) affected

Cllr J Toye



Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Mark Ashwell, Planning Policy Manager,

Tel. 0263 516325


Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Manager presented a report that sought agreement on the final selection of sites for allocation at Cromer.  He gave an overview of the enlarged Gurney/Cabbell Manners site at Norwich Road and the site at Clifton Park, and the main issues relating to those sites.  Although the enlarged Norwich Road site would provide the quantum of development required, it was recommended that the Clifton Park site be retained to allow flexibility. 


The Planning Policy Manager presented in full a statement objecting to the allocation of the Clifton Park site that had been received from Mrs Teresa Cole, a local resident, who was unable to attend the meeting.  The following is a précis of this statement.  Mrs Cole considered that given the agreement of the landowners of the combined site to work together, it would be a tragedy to jeopardise land at Clifton Park for just 55 homes, which could become holiday lets given their location on the coast road, and result in the loss of what was historically considered the Runton Gap. She referred to the Council’s previous refusal to permit development of the land and considered that the reasons for that refusal still applied.  She considered that the unspoilt open area should be viewed as a valuable asset because of the wildlife/nature reserve opportunities it could provide, especially as the Wildlife Trust had shown an interest in the area and had advised that the site was likely to meet the criteria for a County Wildlife Site as a mosaic of native scrub and acid grassland.  This site had an important role to play for biodiversity as an area of undeveloped land that provided important connectivity between the coast and inland habitats.  She considered that it was tragic to destroy an area of such wildlife significance for the sake of 55 homes when alternatives were in the pipeline, bearing in mind the national concern about the decline of wildlife areas and destruction of land at an unprecedented rate.  Mrs Cole had also raised issues regarding the future consultation process to which the Planning Policy Manager would respond directly.


The Planning Policy Manager stated that the positive recommendation for the allocation of the Clifton Park site was based on the acknowledgment that it had a great deal of wildlife potential but was not currently designated as a County Wildlife Site or other form of designation.  In the light of Mrs Cole’s comments he added a caveat to the recommendation to include the site subject to confirmation from County Wildlife Services that the site did not meet the qualifying criteria to be designated as a County Wildlife Site.  If the criteria were met the site would not be recommended for inclusion in the Plan.  The agreement between the parties for the Gurney and Cabbell Manners proposals would mean that the Norwich Road site could be enlarged to accommodate at least 400 dwellings, which would ease the pressure on finding sites elsewhere. 


The Chairman invited Mr Rob Snowling to present his  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.