In line with paragraph 207 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Local Planning Authorities should consider publishing a Local Enforcement Plan to manage enforcement proactively, in a way that is appropriate to their area. This Local Enforcement Plan should set out how they will monitor the implementation of planning permissions, investigate alleged cases of unauthorised development and take action where it is appropriate to do so.
The Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) clearly sets out that the preparation and adoption of a local enforcement plan is important because it:
Allows engagement in the process of defining objectives and priorities which are tailored to local circumstances;
Sets out the priorities for enforcement action, which will inform decisions about when to take enforcement action;
Provides greater transparency and accountability about how the local planning authority will decide if it is expedient to exercise its discretionary powers;
Provides greater certainty for all parties engaged in the development process.
A Local Enforcement Plan should be an integral part of any Local Authority’s administration of its planning function and brings with it a number of benefits:-
Gives a robust base against which enforcement action can be taken
Allows engagement with local stakeholders
Raises the profile of planning enforcement within the area
Can identify key problems faced in the area and can set out actions to resolve them
Consequences of not having a Local Enforcement Plan
No basis against which enforcement action can be taken
Leaves any decision to take enforcement action open to challenge
No audit trail
Failure to comply with Government guidance
How we can help
We can formulate an enforcement plan specific to the needs of your Local Planning Authority. Using our expertise and knowledge we can identify key priorities for your planning enforcement service and can produce a robust Local Enforcement Plan which will clearly set out how enforcement complaints will be dealt with and the circumstances under which enforcement action will be taken.