Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Collingham and Kemp.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 317 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting.


RESOLVED: The minutes from the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Please indicate if there are any interests which should be declared.  A declaration of interest should indicate the nature of the interest (if not already declared on the Register of Interests) and the agenda item to which it relates.  If a disclosable pecuniary interest is declared, the Member should withdraw from the room whilst the matter is discussed.


Those declarations apply to all Members present, whether the Member is part of the meeting, attending to speak as a local Member on an item or simply observing the meeting from the public seating area.


There was none.


Urgent Business

To consider any business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chair proposes to accept as urgent under Section 100(b)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act, 1972.


There was none.


Members Present Pursuant to Standing Order 34

Members wishing to speak pursuant to Standing Order 34 should inform the Chair of their intention to do so and what items they wish to be heard before a decision on that item is taken.  



There was none.


Chair's Correspondence

If any.


There was none.


Baxter's Plain Final Report pdf icon PDF 11 MB

Additional documents:


Click here to view the recording of this item on You Tube.


The Regeneration Programmes Manager presented the update.  A copy of the presentation is attached.  It was explained that the West Norfolk Transport and Infrastructure Group would be asked to endorse the Final Report in February 2024.  The next stage would be to look at the detailed design required and explore funding options.  There was currently no funding allocated to take forward the project.


The Chair thanked the Regeneration Programmes Manager for the update and invited questions and comments from the Panel, as summarised below.


The Vice Chair, Councillor Heneghan, commended the scheme as improvement was needed in the area and would complement the MUCH and library project.  She asked about indicative costs and the Regeneration Programmes Manager explained that indicative costs had been looked at, based on current market conditions, but would be firmed up in the detailed design stage.


Councillor Crofts referred to the market and events area and asked if there was a plan in place for its use.  The Regeneration Programmes Manager explained that the use of the space would be driven by the buildings and property owners surrounding the area and could be used to supplement activities at the MUCH.  Councillor Crofts asked Councillor Beal how well used the Spinney area was, which was a similar multi user space in Hunstanton and Councillor Beal stated that it had been used a couple of times in the past year.  Councillor Crofts explained that licences would need to be in place for live or recorded music.


Councillor Colwell referred to resident engagement in the consultation and how residents had wanted more greenery and seating in the area.  He felt that this would be achieved through out the project and welcomed the improvements to the area but was disappointed that one of the existing trees would need to be removed.  Councillor Colwell also commented that the improvements in the area could make it more attractive to potential developers and the owners of the old Post Office building hopefully encourage investment in the area. 


The Regeneration Programmes Manager explained that they had tried to engage with the owner of the old Post Office Building and looked at previous consents for the site to ensure that the improvements complemented potential future development opportunities.


The Assistant Director commented that the improvements would enhance the space and hopefully attract investment in the area.  He felt that the outside flexible use space would be well used.


The Chair, Councillor Bearshaw, was concerned that the outside space would be filled with seating and planting which would reduce the space available for events.  He hoped that adequate space would be available for events to make the area attractive.


Councillor Spikings commented that it would be a benefit to the town centre if the old Post Office Building was brought back into use.  She also cautioned the type of greenery proposed for the area and asked that consideration be given to non-toxic trees which did  ...  view the full minutes text for item RD71:


Cabinet Report - Local Plan Gypsy and Traveller Potential Sites Consultation Document pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Additional documents:


Click here to view the recording of this item on You Tube.


The Assistant Director and Senior Planning Officer presented the report which sought authority to proceed with a consultation on potential sites.  The consultation would run for 6 weeks, and would help to inform a final proposed Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Policy, which would be submitted to Cabinet for approval in April 2024 and submitted for formal examination likely in July 2024.


Councillor Moriarty, in his capacity as Chair of the Local Plan Task Group informed the Panel that the Task Group had considered this report and would be submitting an additional recommendation to Cabinet that the Panel may wish to consider.  The additional recommendation was:


“Delegated authority be granted to the Portfolio Holder, Development and Regeneration to ensure new sites which come forward from the consultation exercise be communicated in a timely manner to Borough Councillors and where possible Parish Councils.”


The Panel received a presentation, a copy of which is attached.


The Chair thanked the Assistant Director and Senior Planning Officer for the report and invited questions and comments from the Panel, as summarised below.


In response to a question from Councillor Crofts, it was explained that six sites had come forward following the call for sites.  Additionally three Borough Council and one Norfolk County Council site had also been brought forward for consideration.  It was confirmed that the Saddlebow and Blunts Drove sites were operated as public sites for Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation.  The Saddlebow site was owned by Norfolk County Council and Blunts Drove was owned by Hastoe Housing Association.  In relation to the Saddlebow site, it was explained that this site was currently at capacity and there was a waiting list for pitches.  There was no scope to extend the site due to land ownership constraints.


In response to a further question from Councillor Crofts regarding the overwhelming of sites and joint working with neighbouring Local Authorities, it was explained that the Council was required to meet their own accommodation needs for Gypsies, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople, but had met with Officers from Fenland District Council to look at joint working opportunities.  It was also explained that the consultation would provide the opportunity for comments to be received by stakeholders such as Fenland District Council.


The Chair agreed that it was important to look at working with neighbouring Local Authorities where possible.


Councillor Beal asked for a provision to be put in place for short term and temporary sites and made reference to issues in Hunstanton.


Councillor Bone called a point of order relating to the language used by Councillor Beal.


The Assistant Director commented that temporary stopping points and transit sites had been looked at through the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment and there was no need, at this time, to provide such a site.  However it would continue to be monitored through the Local Plan process.


In response to a question from the Chair, it was confirmed that the consultation  ...  view the full minutes text for item RD72:


Work Programme and Forward Decision List pdf icon PDF 246 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: The Panel’s Work Programme was noted.


Date of the next meeting

To note that the next meeting of the Regeneration & Development Panel is scheduled to take place on 30th January 2024 at 6.00pm in the Town Hall.


The next meeting of the Regeneration and Development Panel was an additional meeting and would be held on 30th January 2024 at 6.00pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall.