Planning Enforcement and Monitoring Plan

Last updated: 9 September 2021

5. Enforcement priorities

5.1 In order for us to make best use of our resources, alleged breaches of planning control are prioritised in accordance with the planning harm caused by the alleged breach. This enables the us to ensure that the most harmful cases are quickly investigated and actioned accordingly. The priority given to a case may be subject to change as the matter is investigated.

5.2 All valid reports of breaches of planning control will be logged on the council’s database, acknowledged and investigated to an appropriate level.

5.3 Investigation priorities are split in 2 categories, priority A and priority B.

Priority A

We will undertake an initial investigation including a site visit, if necessary, within 1 working day for:

  • unauthorised works to listed buildings
  • unauthorised works to protected trees or hedgerows
  • breaches of planning control that could cause serious or irreversible harm
  • breaches of conditions that likely to cause significant harm to amenity, living conditions, trees, wildlife, ecology, archaeology, or heritage assets

Priority B

We will undertake an initial investigation including a site visit, if necessary, within 10 working days for alleged breaches of planning in relation to all other building works not covered by those described in priority A. This includes:

  • non-compliance with pre-commencement conditions that do not fall into priority A
  • advertisements, fences, walls, satellite dishes, most householder type breaches of control
  • alleged unauthorised mineral and waste developments

5.4 The council will, if necessary, undertake a site visit and will do so in accordance with the timescales set out in the priorities table above.

5.5 We will provide an update to interested parties on the investigation at key points as identified in the ‘Customer Experience Path’ at appendix 1. Key points include when formal action is taken or if a planning application or appeal is submitted. However, if in the meantime, if you require an update on the investigation then we can be contacted via the contact details on your acknowledgement letter/email or through the details in the council’s website.

5.6 Investigations into alleged breaches of planning control often overlap with other legislation enforced by other public bodies/council departments such as Environmental Health, the Environment Agency, Building Control and Housing. Where an activity does not fall within the remit of the council’s planning enforcement service to investigate, the investigating officer will advise the reporter accordingly and with details of the relevant investigative authority (where possible). Sometimes the responsibilities of two or more authorities may overlap and in these situations we will seek to work with those other agencies to remedy the breach(es) occurring. Where appropriate the officer will take details from the reporter and forward such details to the relevant team, in accordance with the council’s privacy notice.

5.7 We will communicate planning enforcement successes via a number of communication channels. We may seek to use our relationships with town and parish councils and Community Boards to advertise where the team has successfully resolved breaches of planning control as well as using local press releases and social media platforms when appropriate.