Agenda item

Monitoring & Enforcement Annual Review- April 2024


The report was introduced by the Principal Enforcement Planner who informed Members that since the last report in January, the remaining vacancies were now close to being filled and that significant progress had been made in resolving breaches and addressing the backlog of outstanding enforcement cases which had built up over the last four years. It was anticipated that the performance would continue to improve over the coming year as the new officers settled into their roles.


The Officer informed Members that a new online form for reporting alleged breaches came into effect in November 2023,  but that we were still allowing enquiries by phone or email for now. However, we would shortly be moving to only accepting enquiries online , unless for the enquirer this was not possible.


The Officer then shared before and after photographs of some of the cases that had been resolved In the latest quarter.


The Officer then informed Members of some of the changes to legislation that will come into effect  on 25th April 2024, as follows:-


·         The immunity period which is currently 4 years for operational developments and change of use of  buildings  to dwellings,  and 10 years for any other breaches including changes of use and breaches of conditions, will now be 10 years for all breaches.


·         There will be a new provision in the legislation to issue an “Enforcement Warning Notice” where it is considered there is a reasonable prospect that planning permission will be granted for the unauthorised development.  The notice  Would state that unless a planning application is made within a specified period further enforcement action may be taken.  This is already being done informally by the Authority through letters and discussions with the offender, but this is a more formal way of doing that.


·         Temporary Stop Notices which are currently in effect for up to 28 days, can be in effect for up to 56 days and the Authority will also be able to issue Temporary Stop Notices for works to listed buildings, which they are not able to currently do.


·         There are new powers for Inspectors dealing with Enforcement Notice Appeals and appeals against refusal of a Lawful Development Certificate.  If the Inspector felt that the appellant was causing undue delay, then the Inspector can warn the appellant and specify steps to be taken within a specified period (e.g. if  something was missing from the appeal that was crucial to the determination.  If the specified steps are not taken then the Inspector can dismiss the appeal.


Members thanked the Officer for his report and asked if the new online form would have clear guidance on confidentiality and also provide the facility to plot the breach onto a map to make it easier to locate the site?  The Officer confirmed that there was clear guidance on confidentiality and that there was an interactive map with the form with the facility to upload a photograph, as well as using the “What3Words” facility.




That the report be noted.

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