The enforcement process
We are committed to dealing with planning applications as quickly as possible and not to stand in the way of development without justification.
We also expect land owners and developers to observe the spirit of the planning legislation and not carry out development until the necessary planning permission has been obtained. When development does take place without permission we have a full range of enforcement powers available to establish whether a breach of planning control has taken place, what harm is caused as a result of the breach and how to remedy the situation.
The Council has adopted the national Enforcement Concordat for regulatory services.
Steps in the enforcement process
1. The council provides access to information relating to the Enforcement Notices it has served since 1 April 2002 and related appeals, including access to the notices themselves.
2. We give high priority to the preparation and service of the appropriate notices. We aim to serve them within 3 months of their authorisation.
3. Within two weeks of being authorised to serve notices, we will advise the owner and/or occupier of the land affected in writing of the council's decision and invite them to remedy the breach before the notices are served.
4. The complainant will be informed when the enforcement notices are served, what action they require and when the period for compliance runs out.
5. The complainant and neighbours will be advised of any appeal that is lodged against an enforcement notice and the grounds upon which the appeal has been made. They will then be able to make further comments to the planning inspector dealing with the case, although at this stage the names and addresses cannot be kept confidential.
6. Arrangements to inspect the premises will be made by the planner dealing with the case no later than 21 days after the compliance period runs out in order to find out whether the requirements of the enforcement notice have been satisfied.
7. If the unauthorised development remains in place after the enforcement notices become effective the council will start legal action as soon as possible and the complainant will be kept informed of the outcome of any prosecution. As a last resort the council will consider carrying out works itself to remedy the breach.
8. Information on the progress of all enforcement matters will be reported to the Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee every quarter and details of cases that have been investigated are reported to each meeting of the Planning Applications Committee.