Minutes of a Meeting of the Council held at Dolphins, Mill Lane, Brandeston on Wednesday, 22 August 2007



Councillors D Risk (Chairman) (DR), H Saxton (HS), W Elson (WE), P Summers (PS), and J Fielder (JF)

Parish Clerk and RFO A M Hounsell

Parishioners Mr N Holland Brown, Ms A Law and Mr N Hayward

Mr and Mrs M Ruffles (part time)


1-0708/4 – Chairman’s Welcome and Apologies for Absence

The Chairman welcomed Councillors and visitors to the meeting and advised that there were apologies for absence from Councillors S Thurlow and K Churchill.


2-0708/4 – To Receive Councillors’ Declaration of Interest in Agenda Items

There were no declarations of interest.


3-0708/4 – Planning Application C07/1223/FUL – 53 The Street, First floor extension and other changes

After discussion, the Council agreed to advise SCDC of the following :-

(i)                   Because this application covers a proposal in the conservation area it has been given considerable attention by the Council

(ii)                 The Site Plan does not show the existing western extension and is therefore misleading and prevents proper consideration of the application.

(iii)                The Council strongly resists solar panels fixed to any elevations facing The Street.

(iv)                The Council would prefer that both the new upper extension and the existing lower extension be rendered.

The Clerk was instructed to so advise SCDC


4-0708/4 – Planning Application C07/1491/FUL – Rose Farm Cottage, Mutton Lane, Change of use from agricultural to garden

After discussion, the Council agreed that they had no objection in principle subject to the following conditions being applied:-

(i)                   In order to avoid intensification of traffic in a narrow lane, the access(es) from the highway shall only serve Rose Farm Cottage as a single dwelling and no other.

(ii)                 Permitted development rights to be withdrawn.

(iii)                No use for any form of business be permitted.

In addition, the Council noted the following :-

(i)                   The Site Plan/Location Plan and the Application Form state that the area of land amounts to 2.899 hectares (approximately 7.16 acres) but the relevant Ordinance Survey map indicates an area of 1.204 acres. The Application Form gives the frontage as 47.23 metres and depth as 76.99 metres. This computes (based upon a rectangular plot, which it is not) to an area of 3.636 hectares. Which is the correct size?

(ii)                 The Site Plan/Location Plan indicates that part of the land for which change of use is sought, “has been in continuous use as a garden to Rose Farm Cottage since 1978”. My Council strenuously reject this statement

The Clerk was instructed to so advise SCDC


5-0708/4 – Advice from Mr M Ruffles on Works at Red House Barn, The Street

The Chairman adjourned the meeting to permit Mr Ruffles to advise the Council as set out in the notes attached at the end of these minutes

Mr Ruffles and partner then left and the Chairman reconvened the meeting

The Council discussed this matter further and made the following points were raised :-

(i)                   It is clear that the planning consent has been breached because work has started without agreement on finishes, window styles and many other conditions of the consent. (In addition to the matter of use as a builder’s yard as already raised by the Council). The Council considered that this could invalidate the consent.

The Council questioned the point of detailed consent conditions if SCDC do not act with sufficient diligence to ensure that they are met.

(ii)                 The consent applied to a “Barn Conversion” but Mr Ruffles current intentions amount to a new build.

(iii)                The Council consider that new roof tiles will be inappropriate – either the existing or reclaimed tiles should be used.

(iv)                The Council considered pressing for a completely new application but agreed that this proposal should be held in abeyance. In view of the way in which the existing conditions had been ignored, they questioned whether any conditions of a new application and consent would be adhered to.

At the conclusion of this discussion, the Council instructed the Clerk to write to Mr A Knowles, Enforcement Officer at SCDC (with copy to District Councillor R Snell) raising the following issues :-

(i)                   The Council’s and parishioners’ strong concerns at the way in which this matter has been dealt with by SCDC and the failure to keep the Council properly informed.

(ii)                 It is understood from the applicant that a “stop order” has been imposed by SCDC but the reasoning behind this is unclear to the Council.

(iii)                No copy of the consent condition with regard to the schedule of repairs is available to SCDC and the Council wish to know what action is intended to remedy this shortcoming.

(iv)                Requesting full information of the intended future actions of SCDC and their timescales and requesting a fully detailed response from them by 15 September 2007, in order that the Council may be completely informed at their next meeting.


6-0708/4 - Any other business as may be raised and accepted as appropriate by the Chairman

There were no items for discussion under this heading.


Date of Next Meeting

Date of next meeting was confirmed as 26 Sept 2007 at 8.00 pm at the village hall.


The meeting closed at 10.30 pm



NOTES OF ADVICE OF MR M RUFFLES (see minute 5-0708/4)

Mr Ruffles explained that he had requested meeting the Council in order to advise why the timber roof had been removed.

The original barn had been constructed from two buildings with softwood being used to raise the roof level at the western end to match that at the eastern end. Since removing the roof tiles to examine the structure in more detail, approximately one year ago, the structure has deteriorated. In addition, it has become clear that there had been a fire in the eastern end in the past. Some of the oak structure which has been removed but retained on site is in poor condition and there is now no way in which the structure would support a full roof. Therefore, Mr Ruffles stated, he is proposing to erect a new oak framed building with new roof tiles (and SCDC have agreed suitable tiles with him) with two new wings to the south.

His intention is to demolish the southern Dutch barn after use as for temporary building material storage during the construction period; also, to demolish half the western barn using the remainder for holiday lets. However, after consultation with SCDC he is now considering taking down the whole of the western barn and establishing holiday lets.

Mr Ruffles advised that a “stop order” had been imposed by SCDC.

Some discussion took place and Mr Ruffles provided some minor clarifications. The Clerk pointed out to Mr Ruffles that the Council’s objection to the works (by their letter of 02 May 2007) had been that the site was being used as a builder’s yard for storage of materials and equipment and dumping of rubble – well before the roof was removed. Mr Ruffles claimed that this was not the case but that delays in starting the works meant that some storage had been inevitable.

Mr Ruffles undertook to clear the rubbish from the site but said that good topsoil would be delivered to the site as and when available to be used when much of the concrete was broken up and removed. The Council accepted this as reasonable.

Mr Ruffles also said he was considering demolishing the concrete block walls at the eastern end and building a more suitable type of garage due to one wall being cracked and that there were several doorways to infill.