Local planning enforcement plan

Overall objectives

The national planning policy framework (NPPF) March 2012 advises that local planning authorities should consider publishing a local enforcement plan to manage enforcement proactively, in a way that is appropriate to their area. Our previous planning enforcement policy was first published in February 2009 and has been reviewed following changes to national policy/guidance for enforcement and operational changes. The local planning enforcement plan (LPEP) also confirms the current planning enforcement powers available to us.

The government also published guidance on enforcement and post-permission matters.

The national planning policy framework states:

"Effective enforcement is important to maintain public confidence in the planning system. Enforcement action is discretionary, and local planning authorities should act proportionately in responding to suspected breaches of planning control. They should consider publishing a local enforcement plan to manage enforcement proactively, in a way that is appropriate to their area. This should set out how they will monitor the implementation of planning permissions, investigate alleged cases of unauthorised development and take action where appropriate."

In assessing any enforcement case, we will give consideration to the national planning policy framework (NPPF) and supported by the planning practice guidance, plus policies set out in our development plan. These documents are subject to review and this plan will be reviewed in light of any new adopted policies as they emerge.

Effective control over unauthorised development protects the environment, the local amenity of residents and other people, promotes confidence in the planning system and helps to revitalise our borough. Enforcement is an essential part of the development management process and its integrity depends on our readiness to take proportionate enforcement action. Planning enforcement action is also discretionary. We must judge each case and decide if it is expedient to act (expediency is a crucial test in the legislation and its meaning is explored in the expediency test section).

In deciding whether to take enforcement action we must have regard to local and national planning policies, in particular, the advice set out in our development plan and government guidance.

Much of what we deal with comes to us through a range of planning enforcement complaints. All planning enforcement complaints will be assessed and prioritised according to the criteria set out in the enforcement priorities section.

We are committed to the Regulators Code published by the Department for Business Innovation and Skill in April 2014 which has replaced the government's enforcement concordat. This document sets out a range of good practice enforcement policies and procedures to deliver best practice in regulatory and enforcement work by public bodies.