Planning resolutions

There are a number of potential outcomes and planning resolutions to a reported breach of planning control complaint.

When a breach of planning control complaint is made and investigated by the planning enforcement team, there are a number of outcomes and planning resolutions to the reported matter:

Planning resolutions

  • Voluntary resolution
  • Formal action
  • Prosecution
  • Direct action

Non-compliance with a Notice may result in us arranging for appropriate remedial works to be undertaken.

This approach will only be used in appropriate circumstances and in most cases, we will seek to recover the cost of undertaking those works from the responsible parties and may mean the imposition of a charge on the land in question.

In the circumstances where an informal request to remove an unlawful advertisement has not been complied with, we will use the powers available to us to remove the advertisement.

Formal planning enforcement action may be taken where:

  • The matter is so serious that it merits immediate action
  • there's a lack of confidence that the matter will be resolved voluntarily
  • there's a history of non-resolution of issues by a voluntary means
  • the matter has not been satisfactorily resolved on a voluntary basis

Such action can take a number of forms including, issuing Notices:

Enforcement Notices and Listed Building Enforcement Notices

  • Requiring specified actions to be undertaken within the time period specified

  • There is a right of appeal against these Notices

Breach of Condition Notices

  • Requiring compliance with conditions imposed on a grant of planning permission

  • there's no right of appeal against these notices

Untidy Land Notices

  • Requiring the improvement of land or buildings in order to remedy their visual impact on the amenities of the surrounding area

  • There's a right of appeal to the Magistrates Court against such notices

Improvement or Repairs Notices

  • In respect of Listed Buildings which are falling into disrepair

Where it is considered expedient to do so a Temporary Stop Notice maybe issued.

In circumstances involving potentially serious and irreversible unauthorised development, issuing of an injunction may be appropriate.

Non-compliance with the Notices listed above within the required timescale is an offence which we will normally seek to pursue by means of a prosecution.

Non-compliance with formal Notices is a criminal offence and can result in Prosecution, as well as:

  • The unauthorised display of advertisements.
  • the alteration of Listed Buildings without consent
  • the unauthorised undertaking of works to trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order the unauthorised undertaking of works within a Conservation Area

We will require that any such works cease immediately and that unlawful advertisements are removed within 5 days.

Where that cessation or removal does not occur and/or where such unauthorised works result in material harm to protected buildings or trees, legal action will usually be taken.

Decisions to proceed with legal action will take account of the Crown Prosecutor’s Guide and in particular will be made with reference to:

  • The availability of sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction
  • whether it is in the public interest to proceed with such action.

By encouraging you to voluntarily resolve a breach of planning control for which you are responsible, we may:

  • Offer you written or verbal advice
  • give you a verbal or written warning
  • provide you with one opportunity to remedy the issue within a proportionate time period prior to the consideration of the use of formal action.

Many breaches of planning control are resolved in this manner.

However where a breach of planning control is so serious that it merits immediate action, we will take formal action where necessary and without offering an opportunity for the matter to be resolved voluntarily.

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