PPM introduced the Officer’s Report and updated Health
Protocol; a multiagency-owned document shared between members of
the Norfolk Strategic Planning Group including planning authorities
and health organisations. The PPM commented that one of the key
frustrations from the public, with regards the Local Plan, was that
the delivery of housing was not matched by healthcare provision or
infrastructure more broadly. The PPM advised that Members were
asked to consider and endorse the revised changes to the Protocol
as identified on P.21 of the Agenda.
meeting was adjourned at 10.11am due to an IT outage and was
reconvened at 10.32am.
- Cllr N Dixon stated that whilst he was content with many aspects
of the Protocol he was not content with the way in which it failed
to consider and deal with certain components of health. With
reference to Page 20, Paragraph 1.4 of the Officer’s report,
Cllr N Dixon noted that Members were asked to ‘note the new
approach to embedding health and wellbeing in spatial
planning’, but questioned what that actually meant in
practice. He contended it was important that other elements of
healthcare including mental, dental and public also be considered
within the Protocol, and reflected that the lack of mental and
dental health services had been a considerable issue locally. Cllr
N Dixon affirmed that Members had a responsibility to ensure such
elements were explicitly defined within the document as a critical
part of the delivery of health and wellbeing services, to not do so
would be a failed opportunity to place greater emphasis to those
components of health.
- Cllr J Toye, with reference to Page 20, Paragraph 2.4,
questioned how this could be ensured in practice. He contended that
large developers may choose to subdivide a site into smaller sites
which, if taken alone, may not meet the 50 dwelling threshold
figure, though would have if they had been considered
- Cllr V Holliday asked how the 50 dwelling figure had been
reached and whether this was implementable. She noted that within
her Ward smaller developments had, over time, cumulatively resulted
in 50 dwellings, but that this would not have been apparent at the
outset. She questioned how cumulative development would be
considered and managed. Additionally, Cllr V Holliday asked the PPM
to offer examples how healthcare and public health had influenced
the design and pre-planning of developments.
- Cllr J Punchard supplied that through the Protocol a new
doctor’s facility had been built in his Ward. This had been
completed to a high standard and with the appropriate physical
infrastructure to provide services for mental health, district
nursing, and minor surgeries. However, staffing the facility
remained an issue meaning the resource could not be used to its
- Cllr P Heinrich sought clarity how it could be ensured that
developers pay the relevant share of the cost of providing the
services identified in the document. Further, with regards
Paragraph 2.2, Page 20, Cllr P Heinrich asked, when combining two
existing doctors’ surgeries, the process of identifying
suitable sites and whether these should be allocated in
anticipation of demand.
- Cllr J Toye commented that perhaps a tariff could be imposed,
which would therefore mean that irrespective of the overall number
of dwellings built, each house would contribute to services. He
noted that there were many different ways which may help to address
the potential 50 dwelling loophole.
Chairman stated that he took issue with the Health Impact
Assessment, and endorsed Member’s concerns about developments
being built out in stages, not meeting the 50 dwelling threshold,
though reflected there may be little the Local Planning Authority
could do to deter this. Further, he
considered that the Protocol failed to give enough weight to
commercial development’s and considered this had been tacked
on the appendix as an afterthought, noting that intensive
agricultural units would likely impact the health of nearby
communities. The Chairman asked if Planning Officers would be
provided training into this document, and whether the protocol had
been checked against the NPPF. Reflecting on Member’s
comments, the Chairman expressed his support that the Protocol make
clearer its position on mental and dental healthcare, and agreed
that these services should be given greater focus.
PPM noted Member’s suggestions regarding the narrow scope of
the document, the absence of references to dentistry and mental
health, and issues surrounding the cumulative impacts of small
scale developments which may enable developers to avoid
obligations. He relayed the consensus view of the Partners, that
this was a targeted piece of work dealing with large house building
and Doctor’s Surgeries. The PPM considered Members were
broadly in support of the Protocol, and suggested that the next
review should look at the scope and breadth of the document in
relation to those changes suggested by Members.
- Cllr N Dixon sought clarification to the PPM’s suggestion
that Member’s comments should be considered at the next
review and not the current review/update which Members were being
asked to endorse. He affirmed that he
was under the impression that the Council, as a partner of the
group would be able to influence the Protocol. Cllr N Dixon
considered some of the changes could be implemented in a matter of
months and, without starting afresh, this was capable of being
resolved with minor changes to wording.
PPM advised that Members could, if they were not comfortable
endorsing the document, go back to the partners citing the areas
they considered to be deficient. The PPM cautioned this approach,
and considered the changes identified by Members to be more
substantive than changing wording alone and that this would take
time. He recommended the Working Party endorse the document in its
current form as an interim measure and request the Partners
consider NNDC’s comments moving forward.
- Cllr V Holliday expressed her support for Cllr N Dixon’s
comments. She remarked that dentistry was to move to the Integrated
Care Partnership for Norfolk and Waveney and mental health was
already part of the ICP.
- Cllr J Punchard stated that he would be supportive of endorsing
the documents with regards updated terms and relevance of the
document, but not of the document as a whole.
- Cllr J Toye sought confirmation over the time scale for tabling
Member’s suggested amendments to the partnership.
PPM advised, having reflected on the Working Parties debate that if
Member’s were minded to do so, the Working Party could
recommended to Cabinet that they accept the factual modifications
to the framework in so far as they relate to the contact details,
technical modifications, and statutory changes, but do not endorse
the revised Health Protocol in its entirety, pending further
consideration of the breadth of the document’s content.
Further, the Working Party ask that the partners expedite the
overriding timeframe to take place in the next 9
- Cllr N Dixon expressed his support for this recommendation and
stressed the importance that Members are able to consider and
contribute to the final document. It was unacceptable that this be
considered a rubber stamp exercise. He agreed that the outlined
timeframe was appropriate and reasonable.
- Cllr M Hankins asked for details on the other partners and the
scope of the group.
PPM confirmed that Norfolk Strategic Planning Group was a
multi-agency group with partner members from all relevant local
planning authorities working together for strategic cross boundary
planning issues. This aided in having joined up processes and
procedures and greater efficiency.
- Cllr J Toye noted that the 50 dwelling figure was not included
in the recommendation and asked if this would be dealt with
PPM advised this was a technical implementation issue and would be
dealt with at that level.
Chairman sought clarity whether not endorsing the Protocol would
have an adverse impact on Local Plan adoption.
PPM stated that the Protocol was referenced in the Local Plan, and
whilst the Inspector may be curious as to the state of the
Protocol, he did not envisage this critical in whether the Local
Plan was adopted.
- Cllr J Toye proposed acceptance of the Officers recommendation.
Cllr P Heinrich seconded.
That Planning Policy Working Party recommend to
Cabinet that the Council endorses the update to the Health Protocol
(in so far as it relates to contact details, factual changes, and
reference systems) but does not endorse the content of the protocol
in its entirety.
Further, Planning Policy & Built Heritage
Working Party recommends to Cabinet that the Council requests that
the Norfolk Strategic Planning Framework reconsiders the scope of
the Protocol including mental health, dentistry and public health
in the broader sense, and addresses the issues around practical