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Dismissed councillor reappointed to Broads Authority committee

PUBLISHED: 08:49 17 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:17 19 March 2018

Lana Hempsall has been reappointed to the Broads Authority planning committee. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Lana Hempsall has been reappointed to the Broads Authority planning committee. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A Broadland councillor who was removed from the Broads Authority planning committee has been reinstated with immediate effect.

Sir Peter Dixon. Picture: Broads AuthoritySir Peter Dixon. Picture: Broads Authority

Broadland District Council member Lana Hempsall was removed from the planning committee in 2016 following disagreements over a village phone box.

Mrs Hempsall was accused of having acted “inappropriately” towards a planning officer who advised Halvergate Parish Council their desire to turn a decommissioned phone box into a public feature was a material change of use - and required a planning application.

Following her dismissal the district council did not have any representation in planning matters.

Planning applications for areas that fall under the Broads are considered by the Broads Authority’s planning committee, rather than committees of the district councils.

A sign advertising the moorings at Acle Bridge. Picture: Broads AuthorityA sign advertising the moorings at Acle Bridge. Picture: Broads Authority

However, during a meeting of the full authority yesterday, it was recommended that Mrs Hempsall and two others - councillor James Bensly and Mr Bruce Keith - be appointed to the committee “on an interim basis until the Authority’s Annual Meeting in July”.

A report presented to members on the matter stated: “While the current size of the planning committee stands at 11, there is no requirement for it to be a specific number and over the last 10 years it has varied from 11 to 14.”

The last time there were 14 members on the planning committee was in 2014.

The motion was passed unopposed.

Boats on the River Bure at Acle.  Picture: James BassBoats on the River Bure at Acle. Picture: James Bass

Commenting on her reappointment to the committee, Mrs Hempsall said: “I have to say I’m delighted and look forward to serving alongside other local authority and secretary of state members.”

It was also announced at yesterday’s meeting that current Broads Authority vice chairman Sir Peter Dixon will be stepping down as a member of the authority when his term finishes at the end of the month.

He was vice chair of the Broads Authority, chair of the planning committee and a member of the navigation committee.

Chair Jacquie Burgess said: “Whilst Sir Peter Dixon completes his term of eight years I am pleased that he will maintain his connection with the authority as a Volunteer Ranger.

“He is a conscientious, committed colleague and friend of the Broads and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to him for all of his hard work during his time as a member.”

No alcohol to be sold from Acle Bridge site for now

Alcohol will not be sold from a mobile kiosk at the Acle Bridge site owned by the Broads Authority this holiday season.

Giving an update on progress at the site during a full authority meeting yesterday, BA chief executive John Packman said the search for a mobile “café operator” was progressing well.

However, he said there had been discussions about whether the operator should be allowed to sell alcohol from the site and that general feedback was no.

“I think it would be wise not to sell alcohol,” he said.

BA member Lana Hempsall cautioned that a distinction should be made between a “quay side kiosk” and an properly licensed establishment, which it is hoped the site will eventually be home to.

After discussions on the matter, members unanimously agreed that “any mobile operator shall be required to undertake not to sell alcohol beverages during the current season”.

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