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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Development Management Committee A held on 27/06/2007
Planning Enforcement Quarterly Report



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APPENDIX A
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE A –
27TH JUNE 2007
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
PLANNING ENFORCEMENT QUARTERLY REPORT

[Wards Affected: ALL]
________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to provide Members of all the Development Committees with a report on progress of the Planning Enforcement Service generally and for the quarter of January to March 2007.
_________________________________________________________________________

E-Government implications:

There are no direct e-government implications since the majority of the work is confidential and not open to public scrutiny.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no direct resource implications arising from the report itself. However, the report may form part of the background for a wider service review to be considered by the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Executive.

There are no direct legal implications arising from the report.
_________________________________________________________________________

Introduction

1. This report is intended to bring Members up to date with enforcement performance for the period January to March 2007. The report will also refer to current issues impacting on the Enforcement Service. It will also inform Members to the work already in hand with regard to bringing some long running cases to a head. Please note that when this report refers to a breach of planning control a breach is one individual site irrespective of the number of complaints received about the site.

Staffing Issues

2. Since the end of February 2007 the enforcement team has been two members of staff short. A further member of staff is currently on long-term sick leave. This has had an adverse effect on the remaining 2 Enforcement Officers who are struggling to deal with 784 cases. The two Compliance Officer vacancies have been advertised; interviews are due to take place in mid June, however, only one post will be filled due to budgetary constraints. This will prevent

New Cases

3. Between January and March 2007 the Team received 169 alleged breaches of planning control. 70% of these were investigated within 10 working days. The speed of response to new cases has reduced from the previous quarter as the former Compliance Officer had previously focused on all new complaints, leaving the remaining Officers to clear the enforcement backlog.

Back Log of Old Cases

4. The remaining backlog of old cases has now been assigned to Enforcement Officers and is being addressed and significant progress was made during the last two quarters as investigations completed exceeded new cases being received. It is unlikely that this performance will be maintained during the next quarter given the long term sickness of the Investigations Officer and for the need of the Principal Enforcement Officer to spend sometime training and developing the newly appointed Compliance Officer. It may therefore take longer to reduce officer workloads to a more manageable level from 200 cases each to 60 - 80 cases each.

Notices served

5. In this quarter 9 Planning Contravention Notices and 1 Enforcement Notice have been served.


Apr-Jun
Jul-Sep
Oct-DecJan-Mar
    Cases Received
164
145
115169
Investigations completed
68
100
182216
Cases on hand
1020
942
830784
% investigated within 8 weeks
86.6%
89.0%
84.0%70%
Cases closed
104
223
227215
Enforcement notices served
0
4
41
PCN’s served
3
10
139
Stop Notices served
0
2
20
Prosecutions
1
0
00
    Direct Action
0
0
00

Appeal Performance

6. There were no appeal decisions during this quarter.

Fly-posting Within the Borough

7. The Enforcement team has taken an active role in reducing the amount of fly posting within the Borough. The Enforcement Team has been so successful in tackling this problem that other neighbouring authorities are now seeking best practice advice from Waverley on how to address their own fly-posting problems.

8. The related prosecution action, as reported in the previous quarterly report has become unnecessary, as the breach has now ceased. The Enforcement Team continue to work closely with local hall hirers in educating the public to prevent future problems.

High Hedge Complaints

9. One appeal is currently awaiting the planning inspectors decision. No further new High Hedge complaints have been received in this quarter. However, officers are still receiving many enquiries regarding high hedges and the interpretation of this legislation.

Web Site Development

10. The Council’s website has now been improved to show all of the Enforcement Notices that have been served since 1974; information on the Planning Enforcement Team and how to lodge a complaint on-line.

11. Work has commenced on information that explains the process of planning enforcement investigations for Members and a fly-posting leaflet for distribution to members of the public.

Current Update on Previous Enforcement Cases

12. The following are cases where formal notices have been issued but compliance with the notices have not been met. In most cases the owners of the respective land/property are now co-operating with the Enforcement Team in addressing their individual breaches thus making them responsible for their actions and avoiding lengthy and costly court procedures. Updates since the previous report are shown in bold type.

13. Members are reminded that if they require further information on these cases or have questions please contact the Enforcement Team.


Majorland Rew, Godalming Road, Loxhill, Hascombe

Enforcement Notices served to secure cessation of the use of the land for the stationing of residential caravans and as a contractor’s depot and relating to the barn, mobile home, playhouse and other matters. Appeals dismissed. Notice varied to allow retention of barn. Time for compliance expired 16.07.00 for most things. Subsequently application WA05/0991 for rural industry worker’s dwelling was refused on 29.06.05; appeal dismissed on 4 October 2006. Further application WA/2005/1330 - retention of existing extension to barn and erection of further extension was refused; appeal allowed 4 October 2006. Report being prepared for Development Management Committee seeking instructions on how to proceed on outstanding issues.


Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink Planning Officer: Hilary Hobbs
Dunsfold Ryse, High Street Green, Chiddingfold

Enforcement Notice served to secure removal from the land the garage building and all resulting material and rubble arising from the compliance with the Notice. Issued on 21 September 2006; Appeal dismissed 17 April 2007; Compliance to be reached by 17 October 2007.

Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink

Croft Nursery, Hookley Lane, Elstead

Enforcement Officer: David Andrews

Wareham Brickworks, Haslemere Road, Brook

Enforcement Notice served to secure the cessation of the use of the land for the stationing of any mobile homes or caravans and vehicles or equipment connected with this use and also remove the articulated lorry trailer. Injunction given. An application against refusal for temporary mobile home went to High Court on 18.12.01. One mobile home has been removed however a further breach with stationing of two touring caravans occurred. A further Enforcement Notice was served on 04.10.04. Public Inquiry held. Appeal dismissed. Time for compliance 27.04.06. Further appeal and planning application for agricultural mobile home to be determined. In the meantime, prosecution instructions being prepared.

Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink

49 Minster Road, Godalming

Detached garage not built according to approved plan (WA99/0162). Committee resolved to take enforcement action 17.09.03. Enforcement Notice served. Appeal dismissed. Date for compliance expired on 14.01.05.
Owner submitted further applications for alternative schemes. Most recent application refused; appeal dismissed – owner now undertaking work to make garage permitted development by the end of June 2007 – instructions for prosecution action being drafted for legal.

Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink

Tuesley Farm, Tuesley Lane, Godalming

Enforcement Notice served on 29 July 2004 to secure removal of polytunnels, fences/windbreaks, mobile homes and associated engineering works. Appeal dismissed, compliance 12 months. High Court appeal dismissed 15 December 2006. Compliance date 15 December 2007.

Enforcement Officer: David Andrews

Land at Old Portsmouth Road, Thursley

Two Enforcement Notices served requiring cessation of non-agricultural use and removal of perimeter fence, shed buildings and hardstanding. Appeal dismissed with variations to Notice to allow one shed to remain. Date for compliance 08.01.05. Enforcement Officer has worked with owner of site and full compliance with the Notice has nearly been reached. Further site visit scheduled for July 2007.

Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink

Quail House Farm, Hyde Lane, Hindhead

Enforcement Notice served to secure cessation of use of land and buildings for (i) storage purposes – Building 1; (ii) industrial (carpentry) purposes – Building 2; (iii) industrial (car repairs and cleaning) purposes – Building 4; (iv) multiple residential occupation – Building 6; (v) storage of vehicles – Pole Barn and surrounding land. Following challenge by the Council, the appeal re-determined by an Inquiry held on 25th June 2003. Appeal dismissed and enforcement notice upheld. Businesses and residents were to have vacated the premises by 08.11.03. This did not happen however following the introduction of the Enforcement Team and regular meetings with the site owner the Notice has now been substantially complied with. All that remains is the barn. A planning application was submitted regarding this building and the change of use of the land. This was refused and the owner has now been advised by the Enforcement Officer to remove the unauthorized barn immediately. Further site visit is scheduled for July 2007.

Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink & David Andrews
(1) Restore post and rail fence which existed before February 1997 between the garden to south of “the land” and “the land” the subject of enforcement action (1st Notice). Court found not guilty.
(2) Cease using the land as part of the curtilage of the dwelling house known as Tanyard Farm. (3rd Notice). Court found guilty. (3) Remove lighting and lamp standards and associated electrical cables. (3rd Notice). Court found not guilty. (4) Remove seat and any garden ornaments placed on the land. (3rd Notice). Court found guilty. (5) Remove any other items associated with use of land as part of curtilage of dwelling house known as Tanyard Farm. (3rd Notice). Court found guilty. Tanyard Farm, Woodhill Lane, Shamley Green

Enforcement notice served requiring reduction in height of front boundary wall. Enforcement Officers visited the site to check compliance in January 2007; the wall has not been reduced to 1.5 metres in height and further action is to be determined.

Enforcement Officers: Gina Pink & David Andrews

Lydia Park, Stovold’s Hill, Bramley
Beaver 84, Birtley Road, Bramley

Breach of condition requiring appropriate turning and parking areas to be made available. Owners of site making progress to ensure turning and parking areas are being cleared in compliance with condition. Site being monitored for progress.

Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink
Stop and Enforcement Notices served on 8th September 2003. The Enforcement Notice requires that the hard standing, fencing and
telegraph pole are removed and the site to be restored to its original condition and all rubble to be removed from the site. Stop Notice complied with. Appeal dismissed. Compliance date 2.1.05.

Subsequently a planning application for stabling and retention of hard standing and new fencing has been approved. Works involve removal of unauthorised fencing. Site visit taken place. Fencing still in place. After discussions with legal and Planning Officers, the Enforcement Officer is working with the owner of the site to implement her planning permission for stables on the land. Precedent conditions have been discharged and the stables have been ordered.

Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink

Crowthorne, Furzen Lane, Ellens Green

Planning permission was refused for a large number of alterations and extensions. The works referred to the erection of a conservatory of 27 square metres, a pitched roof over a flat roof dormer, a new porch canopy, an enlarged utility room and extension to physically link the house with the
garage and the provision of five large flat roof dormers to the garage roof. The applicants were requested to remove the unauthorised extensions. A retrospective planning application was received giving new reasons why permission should be granted. Planning permission refused. Enforcement Notice in final stages of preparation for being served.

Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink
Bourne Mill, Farnham

In relation to land at the front, action being pursued to secure the cessation of the use of land for use as a garden centre and for the sale, display and storage of sheds, garden structures, etc., plus the demolition of all sheds, structures, etc. and removal of all resultant materials; action to remove unauthorised signs. Changed Use Enforcement Notice rejected by Inspector, but operational development notice upheld. Letter sent to owner/occupier indicating that if compliance with notice has not been achieved by 13.3.03, then prosecution proceedings will commence.

In relation to land at the rear, enforcement action taken to secure the cessation of the use of land for retail display purposes and to secure the removal of unauthorised ground works and unauthorised buildings. Enforcement Notices confirmed on appeal. A further planning application refused in 2002. Letter sent to owner/occupier indicating that if compliance with notice has not been achieved by 13.03.03, then prosecution proceedings will commence.

Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink Planning Officer: Hilary Hobbs

Century Farm, Green Lane, Badshot Lea, Farnham

Old Park Stables, Old Park Lane, Farnham
Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink
Enforcement Notice served to secure removal of a track. Notice appealed
against.

Enforcement Officer: Dave Andrews

Charlesbury, Farnham Road, Charles Hill, Tilford

Enforcement Notice served to secure removal of front boundary fence.
Appeal dismissed. Compliance date now 25 July 2007.

Enforcement Officers: Dave Andrews & Gina Pink

Land at Burningfold Manor Stud, Plastow Road, Dunsfold

Enforcement Notice served relating to field changed to Polo pitch. Served 30
October 2006 – not appealed against. Compliance date 4 December 2007.

Enforcement Officer: Dave Andrews

Red Stream Cottage, Birtley Green, Bramley, Surrey

Notice served to secure removal of cars from woodland. Notice not appealed
against. Compliance date 15 June 2007.

Enforcement Officer: Dave Andrews

Conclusion

That Members note the actions put in place to improve performance on planning enforcement but also note the continuing difficulties with staffing issues and high workloads at the present time.

Background Papers

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Gina Pink
Principal Planning Enforcement Officer Telephone: 01483 523114

Email: gpink@waverley.gov.uk

G/Bureau/comms/devmanA/2007-8/enforcementreport