The Major Projects Team Leader presented the report by remote link. A copy of the visual presentation had previously been forwarded to the Committee. He displayed an aerial photograph indicating the location of the site and a layout plan of the site, and referred to the main issues for consideration. He recommended approval of this application as set out in the report.
The Assistant Director for Planning referred to the foul water drainage issues, which were a material consideration in this matter. Anglian Water had stated that there was capacity in the existing network as it stood to accommodate this development. He could not therefore support a condition to require the development to be delayed until remedial works had been carried out to the local network in accordance with an undertaking given by Anglian Water.
Steve Dye (Hindringham Parish Council)
Ed Mumford-Smith (supporting)
Councillor R Kershaw, the local Member, stated that he had called in the application because of the contentious situation regarding foul water drainage. He referred to the ongoing issues with overflowing sewers and problems he had witnessed with effluent entering drainage ditches and into the River Stiffkey. He was also concerned that there would be increased congestion around the school and stated that although the Highway Authority had removed its objection, it would prefer a better scheme. He was also concerned that the reptile survey had been carried out after the site had been closely mown and it was therefore unsurprising that no protected species had been found.
Councillor Kershaw considered that it would be irresponsible and environmentally damaging to proceed with additional development when there was a risk that foul water could enter the River Stiffkey. He proposed deferral of this application until Anglian Water was able to prove to the satisfaction of Hindringham Parish Council that the foul water drainage system was capable of handling the volume of effluent and water and that maintenance work had been carried out.
Councillor A Brown noted that the consultee response from Anglian Water stated that it was prepared to divert foul sewers when necessary and he considered that, in the event of approval of this application, a condition should be imposed to require such a diversion to take place. He had doubts as to whether the need for affordable housing was a sufficient material consideration in relation to this particular site as Hindringham was not a growth village and would not otherwise be considered a sustainable location for development. He seconded the proposal to defer this application.
Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett considered that it was vital to separate foul water from surface water and that this case had highlighted the issue.
Councillor N Pearce stated that this Authority was trying to put affordable housing in as many villages as possible and drainage would be a recurrent issue. He considered that there was a good case for housing on this site, but it was necessary to rectify the issues before the development could go ahead.
Councillor J Toye stated that the drainage situation was unacceptable and he supported deferral of this application. He considered that the site was rather squeezed and asked if consideration could be given to removing one of the affordable dwellings from the proposal to improve the environment for all future residents.
Councillor N Lloyd congratulated Broadland Housing on the design quality of the scheme. He was disappointed with the loss of hedgerow and requested a replanting condition in the event that hedgerow plants died.
Councillor V Holliday supported deferral of this application and expressed concern regarding Anglian Water’s statement regarding capacity as in her Ward it meant that effluent was taken away in tankers. She agreed with Councillor Toye that the site was tight, and expressed concern at the lack of facilities in Hindringham.
Councillor A Yiasimi commented that the hedgerow would grow in time, which would resolve the issues regarding loss of hedgerow. He considered that it was a pity that the application had to be deferred due to an Anglian Water issue.
Councillor Kershaw stated that he was happy to add the redesign of the site to his proposal.
At the invitation of the Chairman and with the agreement of Councillor Kershaw, Mr Mumford-Smith confirmed that it would be possible to remove one of the affordable dwellings from the proposal, and that the options agreement with the landowner would allow for an extension of time to enable permission to be secured. However there was a long stop if Anglian Water did not deliver on its commitments.
That consideration of this application be deferred until Anglian Water is able to prove to the satisfaction of Hindringham Parish Council that the foul water drainage system is capable of handling the volume of effluent and water and that maintenance work has been carried out, and to seek a revision to the scheme to achieve an improved layout.