Issue - meetings

Planning Enforcement Policy - Part Twodave

Meeting: 14/10/2020 - Growth and Development Scrutiny Group (Item 26)

26 Planning Enforcement Policy - Part Two pdf icon PDF 330 KB

The report of the Executive Manager – Communities is attached.

Additional documents:


The Service Manager – Communities presented the Group with the Planning Enforcement Policy Report Part 2, which had been amended to reflect the comments made by members at the previous meeting of the Growth and Development Scrutiny Group held on 25 August 2020.  The report sets out the regulatory framework within the enforcement function that the Borough operates. Details of workload and resources within the team and performance statistics together with details of the emerging policy.


The main changes to the policy are as follows:


·       Amendments to the prioritisation of enquiries;

·       Minor changes to content to ensure clarity to the reader;

·       The range of enforcement powers are set out in an appendix rather than in the main body of the policy with additional detail on each power;

·       Information on Proactive Development Monitoring has been expanded; and

·       Signposting to relevant bodies for non-planning issues.


The Service Manager – Communities highlighted the level of resources available to deliver the enforcement function had been raised by the Group as an area of concern. The Service Manager – Communities added, the Council has engaged consultants to undertake a health check on the planning service generally involving an assessment of workload, resources and capacity within the team, adding that the final report from the consultation is due shortly.


In addition, the Service Manager – Communities reminded members that the Government is currently undertaking a consultation on the ‘Planning for the Future’ white paper, which in respect of enforcement invites responses on proposals to strengthen enforcement powers and sanctions. Depending on the outcome of this consultation, any potential changes to the Council’s planning system may have implications for resources, particularly in relation to the enforcement function.


The Chairman welcomed the changes adding that the policy was a powerful document to stop developers building off plan. The Chairman asked a specific question relating to the section titled ‘What is a breach of planning control?’ and asked whether some extra wording on the lines of ‘not in accordance with approved plans’ could be added to strengthen the enforcement. The Service Manager – Communities suggested adding some additional text after point b) under ‘What is a breach of planning control?’


It was RESOLVED that:


a)    The updated Planning Enforcement Policy is referred to Cabinet for approval highlighting that the White Paper, ‘Planning for the Future’ may lead to a further review of the policy.


b)    The initial findings of the external consultants in relation to the level of dedicated enforcement resources was noted