Parish Council August & September 2015: Hope Valley (Tas Valley Vineyard) and Laynes Farm Planning Applications 2015

Written by Brian Frith.

'Hope Valley' planning application discussion and follow-up

Update 16th September 2015:

Planning Decisions re: 'Hope Valley' (Former Tas Valley Vineyard) and Laynes Farm.
At the hearing of South Norfolk Development Management Committee ('Planning Committee')  this afternoon, both of the recent applications concerning these sites were considered, and both applications were refused by the Committee.  Also, in both cases, enforcement action was authorised, with a one year 'period for compliance'. 
In the case of Hope Valley the applicant has indicated that he might submit another application for less development, but the one year enforcement notice will continue to run alongside that.  If the applicant appeals, there is a delay in enforcement pending the appeal.
In the case of Laynes Farm, an appeal has already been submitted because of an alleged delay in determination of the application, so today's decision by the Committee was to agree what the Committee would have said if they were making the final decision; this decision will be conveyed to the Inspector, whenever the appeal is heard.
The saga continues!
Thanks to all who came to recent special meetings, who submitted comments, who came along to support council speakers today and especially to those members of the public who spoke at the meeting to put the case on behalf of all electors who had expressed their concerns - Cynthia Finlayson, Ally Rae and Linda Henderson. 

Update 10th September 2015:

The South Norfolk Development Management (Planning) Committee agenda papers for Wednesday 16th September have now been published.  The 'Hope Valley' (formerly Tas Valley Vineyard) application (2015/1673) will be heard in the session starting at 1.30pm and has been recommended for refusal by the Officer (who also requests enforcement action): the DMC will vote and decide at the meeting.  Representatives of the Parish Councils and residents will make representations to the Committee to urge them to accept the Officer recommendation. Of course, it could well be that there will be an appeal by the applicant if the decision goes against him.  At the last count there were comments from about 50 individuals and two submissions from planning consultants, almost all of which wholeheartedly oppose the development on this site.  This is a public meeting and there are a limited number of seats available for the general public.

Coincidentally, the item immediately after 'Hope Valley' is consideration of the 'Laynes Farm' application (2015/0505).  The application here is to remove the condition (imposed by the Planning Inspector in 2011) that the site should be vacated at the end of 4 years.  The Officer recommendation is again for refusal and enforcement action (i.e the 4 year condition should be upheld), but this has been complicated by the fact that the applicant has already taken the case to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds that South Norfolk did not decide the application within official time limits.  The application will now be decided by the Planning Inspector, but hopefully the Committee on Wednesday will approve the recommendation to refuse the application, so that the Inspector can be notified of the South Norfolk view.

Original Article from 25th August:

The extra Parish Council meeting on 20th August 2015 (there is not normally a meeting in August) was attended by Councillors Brian Frith, Beverley Humphreys, Jackie Bowers, Gilly Barnes, Andrew Coleman and Graham Gale. Also present were District Councillor Barry Duffin, County Councillor Bev Spratt and over 70 members of the public.                   

Most of the meeting was taken up with discussion of Planning Application 2015/1673 regarding the former Tas Valley Vineyard (now named Hope Valley) and this article deals with that item. Full minutes of the meeting are available here - in draft form until agreed by the Council at the next meeting (17th September 2015).

Comments from members of the public and councillors have been summarised and submitted to South Norfolk Council. The full text of the Parish Council comments can be seen by clicking here 2015_1673 Forncett PC comments

Members of the public wishing to make their own comment on the proposal should do so by sending an email to  or by letter or by completing the on-line form on the South Norfolk web-site.  All communications should be clearly marked with the application number (2015/1673).  So far as is known at the moment the application is due to be heard by the Development Management Committee ('Planning Committee') on Wednesday 16th September.  Ideally comments should be received by 4th September (so that they can be included in the Officer's written report to Committee), but we have been told that comments received up to the day before the meeting will also be reported verbally.

Although development of this site has impact on residents of Forncett and Aslacton, it is actually within the parish of Great Moulton.  There is to be a meeting in Great Moulton (at 'The Chapel, High Green, Great Moulton - adjacent to the level crossing) on Wednesday 2nd September at 7.30 pm to which members of the public are invited.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Thursday 17th September 2015. The agenda will be published about a week before the meeting, but if you have any matters to bring to the attention of the Parish Council in the meantime, please contact the clerk, Anne Rayner, on 01508 570700 or by email