Update 30 October 2018

SNC have advised that the planning application 2918/1658 has been amended. It is now entitled:

“The change of use of land to a residential Traveller Site for one family, involving the retention of one stable building, and its conversion for use as a dayroom, the standing of 2 touring caravans and 1 mobile home on 3 concrete pads, the installation of 2 outdoor security lights, a sewage treatment plant, a childrens play house, and post and rail fencing.”

The applicant’s agent has provided a statement supporting the application: 2018_1658-SUPPORTING_STATEMENT_INCLUDING_DESIGN_AND_ACCESS_STATEMENT-6214041

The planning officer, Glen Beaumont, invites further comments to be submitted by 20 November 2018 to:

email: planning@s-norfolk.gov.uk
post: SNC, South Norfolk House, Cygnet Court, Long Stratton NR15 2XE

Update on WPC meeting on 13 August 2018

With respect to the planning application 2018/1658, the advice remains to focus on material considerations (remember the image attached to the previous post); this message has been heard and the comments appearing on the SNC planning site are making their point very well. A number have revisited their comments and recast them in the light of the guidance.

SNC planning site is currently carrying 106 documents the vast majority of them from parishioners. Those who are not able to use the technology for whatever reason have used the postal system to get their comment in. The 450 voters in the village all have a chance to make their contribution and I expect at least 116 from those attending the Parish Council meeting!

Remember, when commenting, to include the reference number 2018/1658, whether you support or oppose the application, and provide your name and contact details, then use one of the following options:

  • e-mail planning@s-norfolk.gov.uk
  • write to Planning Team, South Norfolk Council, South Norfolk House, Cygnet Court, Long Stratton, Norwich, NR15 2XE
  • go to SNC planning page, click on the options at the bottom of the page; login / register, complete the on-line form
  • Visit SNC in Long Stratton and leave your written comments there
  • e-mail Phil Hardy (if you prefer not to have your name, etc. made public – he will provide a summary of comments received. This is NOT as effective as individual, named comments since it will become one comment.)

The Parish Council’s draft minutes are posted on this website in the Council’s pages. We were waiting for Cllr. Hardy to provide us with the text of his statement made at the opening of the Open Forum part of the meeting. The Parish council’s own objection statement is on the SNC website.

Normal consultees plus a few others such as the RSPB and Norfolk Wildlife Trust have been invited to consider the parishioners’ on-line comments (to make use of local knowledge) and to submit their own.

Phil Hardy took some actions in the Monday meeting and Helen Mellors (hmellors@s-norfolk.gov.uk), Development Manager of SNC has responded to each (see the blue text):

  1. To put back the closing date for comments – given the obvious problems people were having with the web-site. [Done]
  2. Talk to SNC IT about the on-line comments/registration issue – is there a reason for these problems, can it be resolved?

We are happy to help anyone who is experiencing difficulties with registering on the planning pages of the website to enable them to comment online. As far as I am aware, we have not been contacted directly to notify us of anyone experiencing difficulties. Details are given on the Council’s website, the consultation letters and site notices about alternative methods of submitting comments which includes by e mail or in writing.

3. Confirm the default basis for a planning application when no (real) evidence presented for Traveller status.

Any application is always considered on its own merits and in accordance with national and local plan polices and any other material considerations.  If the applicant submits evidence to say they meet the definition of a traveller, for planning purposes, then this will be a material consideration and the application considered in accordance with local plan policy DM3.3.  A new dwelling outside the development limits would also need to be considered in light of paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)  and local planning policy DM1.3.  Material consideration would also need to be given to the Council’s  housing land supply in the rural area and at present the Council is applying material weight to evidence in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) which shows we have a shortfall. Clearly other policies in the local plan will also apply and will need to be taken into account as appropriate.

4. Clarify this applicant’s status with regard to being a Traveller

The case officer is currently seeking clarification from the applicant and once received this will form part of the application.

5. Examine whether there is a breach of GDPR in insisting that names & other details are to be published and not offering to withhold them. (perhaps a “name & address supplied” option?).

We reviewed all processing of personal data before the GDPR was implemented with the Information Governance Manager, which included publishing comments received regarding planning applications on our website. I have also discussed the publishing of contributor’s names and address with the Council’s Senior Governance Officer & Deputy Monitoring Officer who considers that there is not a breach of the GDPR as the Council has set out how the data will be used in the privacy statement which is set out above as part of the lawful processing of the application. Details on the website also highlight that Members of the public can send their comments to their District Councillor who can raise them as appropriate, so they can be taken into account when the application is considered.

If you need clarification or wish to comment on these, then please raise them directly with Helen Mellors.

The solicitor consulted by the Parish Council advised that until the planners’ recommendation was known, there is nothing to challenge. So the Parish Council will bide its time until then. In the meanwhile I do not know the steps being taken by those parishioners who wish to raise a separate challenge earlier than this. If there is a co-ordinating group for this can they contact me?

The application is to come before the Planning Committee for its decision (in September?). The normal process is for a series of presentations to the committee; we will need to declare beforehand our intention to attend and speak:

  1. the Planning Officer presents the application to the Committee (as per the recommendation document published beforehand);
  2. 5 minutes for the Parish Council to present its case;
  3. 5 minutes for the public (parishioners or representative), and
  4. 5 minutes for the applicant.

[Note: Only 5 minutes – so the time has to be well used – highly focussed on the telling points with no padding or bluster.]

At each point the Committee may question the presenter. The Committee then make final statements and vote on the application. The decision is either: accept the planning application (with such constraints as may be recommended), or, to reject the application. In the latter case, I imagine that the issue could be to return the site to a pre-application state through some enforcement action by SNC – but that is yet to be determined and may require additional input from Wreningham people or their legal representative(s).

The Parish Council and “public” presentations must be closely aligned and mutually supportive. So it is vital that we maintain close cooperation.


About Michael Hill

Wreningham Parish Council Chair

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