Local planning enforcement plan

This is our framework for dealing with any alleged breaches of planning control received by us. Planning enforcement has a vital role in making the borough a better place for those living, working or investing in the borough.

The government's planning practice guidance (PPG) published online since March 2014 provides advice on the role of planning enforcement in the section 'ensuring effective enforcement'. This guidance states that that the preparation and adoption of a local enforcement plan is important because it:

  • allows engagement in the process of defining objectives and priorities which are tailored to local circumstances
  • sets out the priorities for enforcement action, and which will inform decisions about when to take enforcement action
  • provides greater transparency and accountability about how the local authority will decide if it is expedient to exercise its discretionary powers
  • provides greater certainty for all parties engaged in the development process

This plan has been the subject of public consultation and report to our planning committee and Cabinet before adoption and is intended to meet these criteria. The plan sets out the objectives of the Planning Enforcement Service and the system and principles for the exercise of the relevant statutory powers. The local context in the plan includes the natural and historic environment. References to 'the Act' mean the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended. Other legislation specifically referred to relates to the Equalities Act 2010, Listed Buildings and Hedgerows and High Hedges.

We are the responsible local planning authority for the enforcement of planning control within the borough.

There are a range of powers to be exercised in the public interest where a breach of planning control is under consideration. The planning system exists to protect the environment and ensure that development takes place in accordance with national regulatory requirements and is planned and managed to achieve social, economic and environmental objectives. This plan seeks to promote procedures which will manage enforcement issues in an appropriate way for Newcastle, Kidsgrove, our villages and the rural areas of the borough.

Effective enforcement relies to a large degree on efficient and timely communication. Possible breaches of planning control such as unauthorised works/activities/advertisements on land, buildings, trees or hedgerows are brought to notice by members of the public, council officers in different departments and well as by planning and enforcement officers. An efficient system needs our website to be a helpful source of reference and advice with a robust reporting system which is transparent about the decisions taken. References to the PPG section 'ensuring effective enforcement' are given particularly in appendix 1 which describes the options and procedures available to tackle possible and actual breaches of planning control in a proportionate way. The plan is published on our web site with an online form for reporting planning issues and enforcement complaints.

The plan sets out standards and proposed priorities restating and updating principles of good practice enforcement advocated by the government but adapted to local circumstances.