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Planning enforcement service standards

The planning enforcement customer charter sets out the service standards that you can expect from the council’s planning enforcement team. The customer charter can be downloaded.

Our enforcement customer charter sets out the service standards that you can expect from our planning enforcement team.

The service aims to meet the following standards in the handling of all enforcement cases:

  • all correctly made* enquiries for enforcement investigation will be registered and acknowledged in writing within three working days of receipt and your personal details will be held confidentially. The local ward councillor(s) will be informed of the complaint location and alleged breach
  • if necessary an initial site inspection will be carried out. This will be done within 10 working days of receipt of the enforcement enquiry. The case will be assessed against the planning history, planning policy and our risk-based criteria for establishing enforcement priorities
  • where no action is necessary, a response will be made to the enquirer within 20 working days of receipt of the enforcement enquiry. The response will  set out our decision and the reasons
  • where action is necessary, a response will be made to the enquirer and the owner(s) of the site under investigation. This will be done within 20 working days of receipt of the enforcement enquiry. The response will set out our decision and if a breach has occurred our proposed further action
  • updates will be provided to the enquirer and any other party with a legitimate interest in the issue (such as ward councillors and parish councils). Updates will be provided at not less than six weekly intervals

Note: a working day is classed as Monday – Friday (not Bank Holidays)

* if the required information is not submitted we will request this from you. We cannot investigate the complaint until we have the required information.

Prioritising the work

When dealing with planning enforcement cases we will seek to prioritise cases which require immediate action:

High priority:

Development in breach of planning control that has a clearly unacceptable effect on public amenity (causes clear harm) and which requires the issue of immediate formal enforcement action including cessation of works (examples: works to listed building or development in the green belt).

Medium priority:

Development in breach of planning control that has a clearly unacceptable effect on public amenity (causes clear harm) and which requires the issue of formal enforcement action (examples: serious breach of condition, substantial works which are unlikely to be granted planning permission, a change of use causing serious harm or nuisance).

Low priority:

Development in breach of planning control that has an unacceptable effect on public amenity (causes some harm); however could likely be remedied through negotiation on specific matters.

Not pursued:

Development that is technically in breach of planning control but does not have an unacceptable effect on public amenity (causes no identifiable harm) will not be pursued and the investigation will be closed within the 20 working day target.

Development that is not in breach of planning control will not be pursued and the investigation will be closed within the 20 working day target

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