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Enforcement action is taken when our planning enforcement team considers it 'expedient' to do so.
Our planning enforcement team consists of three investigators who are fully trained in planning enforcement and the application of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.
The planning enforcement team deals with alleged breaches of planning, including:
We deal with approximately 600 planning investigations per year.
The development involves unauthorised advertisements, works to protected trees or listed buildings, or if a formal notice has been served and it has not been complied with,
We have a general discretion, which allows us to take enforcement action only when it considers it 'expedient' to do so.
Expedient means only when it is appropriate given the nature and extent of the breach of planning control.
We will therefore need to decide the extent to which public amenity or the use of land and buildings are harmed.
This means that we will not always decide to take action, although quick and effective action will be taken where it is plainly necessary.
The process of enforcement actions is often complex. This means there can be some delay in taking enforcement action.
We aim to reduce the undesirable effects of unauthorised development where possible, by taking action in a controlled and organised manner.
In order to safeguard public amenity as much as possible, we will deal with cases on a priority basis as set out below.
We will investigate all complaints as quickly as possible. It’s important, however, that those breaches of planning control which are considered more serious than others, are dealt with more urgently.
An initial site visit will normally be carried out within five working days of receipt of a complaint. Where a full investigation is necessary, cases will be dealt with on a priority basis as follows:
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