Issue - meetings

Meeting: 16/06/2020 - Cabinet (Item 7)

7 Local Planning Enforcement and Monitoring Plan pdf icon PDF 749 KB

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Planning enforcement is an integral part of the planning system and underpins the overall planning process. Prior to the Transformation Programme, it is important to harmonise the existing processes and to provide a single enforcement service across the whole Buckinghamshire Council area.


RESOLVED:  To adopt the draft Local Enforcement and Monitoring Plan.



Warren Whyte, Cabinet Member for Planning and Enforcement, introduced the report and advised that the plan provided the opportunity to provide a county-wide enforcement service and manage the expectations of the public.  A Local Enforcement Plan was not a legal requirement and there was a finite budget to provide the service.  Table 1 (page 98) showed the proposed timescales; W Whyte stressed the importance of responding quickly to planning control breaches.  The plan would be reviewed after the transformation programme and in three years’ time.  The ambition was to provide a year-round service; in the interim and prior to transformation, officers would provide an out of hours’ standby service during Bank Holiday weekends which would be rolled out if it was successful. 


The following points were raised by members of the Cabinet:


  • It was noted that it was important for the public to understand the process.  W Whyte acknowledged that the key reason for the plan was to build confidence in the planning system and to implement pro-active monitoring. Parish councils would also have an important role in delivering the service.
  • The ambition was to provide a 365 day a year, 24/7 service but this would depend on resources. 
  • A Cabinet Member wanted to understand the situation for potential breaches due to the construction of HS2 and whether the Hybrid Bill over-rode the Council’s policy.  Steve Bambrick, Service Director, Planning, Growth and Sustainability, referred to paragraph 10.1 of the Buckinghamshire Council Planning Enforcement and Monitoring Plan (page 110 of the agenda pack) which clarified that projects such as HS2 were not immune from enforcement action and the Council would pursue enforcement action against unauthorised development where it was appropriate to do so.
  • In response to being asked if there was an aspiration to remove the possibility of breaches of planning control becoming immune from enforcement action if they had existed for a certain period of time (paragraph 7.1.2 of the Local Enforcement and Monitoring Plan), W Whyte advised that the Council was unable to make that decision as it was national legislation; W Whyte emphasised the importance of a pro-active relationship with the parish and town councils in order for planning breaches to have less likelihood of gaining immunity.
  • A member of the Cabinet recommended that the flowchart on page 113 of the agenda pack be published on the Buckinghamshire Council website.


The Leader emphasised the urgency of providing consistent planning enforcement and asked members to note the aspiration of providing a 24/7 enforcement service and the request for additional funding in the next financial year to provide the extra resources.


RESOLVED:  Cabinet ENDORSED and ADOPTED the draft Local Enforcement and Monitoring Plan and NOTED the request for additional funding in the next financial year.