When calling please ask for: Fiona Cameron
Direct line: 01483 523226
Date: 21st January 2008
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.
This report is intended to bring Members up to date with enforcement performance for the period July to September 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.
Sections 1 – 6 of this report refer to Borough-wide development.
2. Staffing Issues.
The Enforcement Team has now been fully staffed since the end of September 2007. The Team consists of an admin technician, 2 Compliance Officers, an Enforcement Officer, a Senior Enforcement Officer and the Principal Enforcement Officer. The arrival of the 2 Compliance Officers has had a very positive impact on the workload and the backlog of new cases that has accumulated during 2007 is now being addressed. It is anticipated that the current workload will be under control by Spring 2008, allowing for the new officers training.
3. New Cases.
Between July and September 2007 the Team received 158 alleged breaches of planning control.
The table below shows a significant reduction in the number of investigations completed and number of cases closed within 8 weeks. This was expected given how short staffed the Team has been.
4. Notices served
In this quarter 10 Planning Contravention Notices and 6 Enforcement Notice have been served.
One appeal decision has been received this quarter. This was Beechnut House, HindheadRoad. The requirements of the notice are to remove the two-storey building and hard standing. The appeal was dismissed by the Planning Inspector and the Notice upheld with variations allowing the foundations to remain and the time for compliance was extended from three to six months. The compliance date is now 20 March 2008.
6. High Hedge Complaints
There is one appeal still outstanding but this has now had the Planning Inspectors site visit and we are awaiting his 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.
7. Current Update on Previous Enforcement Cases
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.
Members are reminded that if they require further information on these cases or have questions please contact the Enforcement Team.
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 – work undertaken by owner not sufficient to comply with the Enforcement Notice – instructions for prosecution action being drafted for legal.
Enforcement Officer: Gina Pink