A Local Charter For The Enforcement Of The Planning Regulations
The Council is committed to providing quality services to reliable standards.
The Charter sets out the Council's service policies and standards on enforcement of the planning regulations. It is for people who have contravened the regulations and for people who request that alleged contraventions be investigated. We will enquire into all complaints about planning problems and check to ensure that conditions imposed on the grant of planning permission are complied with.
We aim to treat you courteously, openly and efficiently when dealing with planning enforcement problems.
The Council considers that the efficient and effective enforcement of planning control is a vital part of the planning system. It will devote sufficient resources to enforcement in order to ensure that development in the District meets the requirements of adopted planning policies and that unlawful activity is brought under proper control.
Officers will assess the planning merits of alleged unauthorised development with reference to the development plan, adopted supplementary planning guidance and statements of Government planning policy and take appropriate action in the light of this assessment.
We will be particularly vigilant in dealing with breaches of planning control which threaten areas requiring special protection including the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Specific Scientific Interest, Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings.
The Planning Enforcement Charter is available to read at the bottom of the page.
WHEN A DEVELOPMENT IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION
WHAT WE WILL DO IF YOU CARRY OUT UNAUTHORISED DEVELOPMENT
We will write to you and seek to arrange a meeting with you to advise you of the nature of the problem and what the likely solution to it may be.
Advice given at this stage can never commit the Council to making a particular decision, but it may include;
1. Asking you to put the matter right by for example, stopping carrying out an activity, removing a sign, demolishing a
building or complying with a condition of a planning permission.
2. Suggesting that you make an application to seek to regularise the unlawful development or use.
3. Suggesting that you carry out the development or use in a different way so that either it no longer amounts to a
contravention or to make it more likely that an application to seek to regularise it will succeed.
In all advice we will specify reasonable timescales by which we require you to deal with the problem.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF WE ARE UNABLE TO REACH A NEGOTIATED SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM
If you are unwilling to respond to our enquiries we may need to issue a formal notice requiring you to answer specific questions. If you fail to respond to such a notice you will be liable to prosecution.
If we conclude that the problem is so serious that to allow you to carry on until a solution is found would be against the public interest we will issue a formal notice requiring you to stop or comply with a condition immediately. Failure to comply with such a notice will make you liable to prosecution. In other cases, the Council may need to issue an enforcement notice requiring you to remedy the problem. The notice will explain clearly what you need to do in order to comply with its requirements and by what date you need to achieve compliance. There is a right of appeal against such a notice and we will explain how you may excercise your right of appeal.
The Council's objective is to keep the District clear of fly posting because it is considered to be detrimental to visual amenity and in some cases can be a danger to highway users. Displaying an advertisement without the consent of the owner of the land on which it is sited is an offence liable to prosecution. Where an advertisement is displayed on the highway (including a verge or structure such as the lighting columns situated on a highway) the Council has the power to remove it without notice as well as to prosecute the person who displayed it or whose goods or business are advertised on it. The Council's policy is to remove signs wherever it is practical to do so, or alternatively to give 48 hours for offenders to remove them. If you fail to comply or are a persistent offender, the Council will prosecute.HOW WILL WE ENSURE THE CONDITIONS IMPOSED ON THE GRANT OF PLANNING PERMISSION ARE COMPLIED WITH?
Planning officers will monitor compliance with Planning Conditions requiring further information to be submitted or works to be carried out using information from the Building Control Unit on starts and completions, together with a precautionary visit (or visits) for those projects when the building control function is not carried out by the Authority and those projects not subject to control under the Building Regulations. We will write to remind you of our obligations if we need to and specify a reasonable timescale for compliance.
Other conditions may require a business to be operated within specific controls such as limited working hours or maximum noise levels. We will respond to complaints about these kind of problems to verifying the evidence and then seeking to obtain your agreement to comply as soon as possible.
If we are unable to reach a negotiated solution, we will recommend the Council to issue Breach of Condition Notice against which there is no right of appeal.
HOW WILL WE DEAL WITH YOUR ENQUIRY ABOUT AN ALLEGED CONTRAVENTION OF PLANNING REGULATIONS
If you write to us or telephone about an alleged contravention we will investigate it. Anonymous enquiries will be given the lowest priority.
We will acknowledge receipt of written enquiries within 3 working days.
We aim to inspect the site within 5 working days and write to tell you the outcome of our initial investigation in 10 working days.
We will treat your enquiry in confidence until such time as any evidence which you have provided needs to be presented in legal proceedings in order to achieve a successful outcome.
In some cases where the only way to obtain sufficient evidence is for you to provide it we will request you to record information on an official form which will be sent to you.
We will seek to resolve the problem by negotiation where possible but will take formal legal action if necessary. If the solution to the problem involves the submission of a planning application you will be notified in writing to enable you to submit written comments for the Council's Planning Sub-Committee to take into account. If you do write, we will inform you of the decision. Further information about how decisions are made on planning applications is contained in a leaflet entitled "Local Code for the Conduct of the Planning Process" obtained free of charge from Council Offices.
If the Council issues an Enforcement Notice, the person carrying out the unlawful activity and the owner of the land have a right of appeal. If an appeal is made we will write to tell you and explain the appeal procedure. If you have previously sent written comments about the problem, these will be considered by the Planning Inspectorate, an Executive Agency in the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions, responsible for determining appeals. The Inspectorate will take into account any further comments you may wish to make in response to the appeal and will inform you of the final decision if you request them to do so.
If you wish to report a matter that you feel needs investigating then you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01543 462621.
Planning Enforcement Charter
Last Updated: 23/03/2018