UPDATE ON THE PLANNING ENFORCEMENT WORKING GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS (0.50.00)
To receive a verbal update on Planning Enforcement Working Group Recommendations from the Director of Place
The Committee received and NOTED a verbal update from the Corporate Manager Revenues, Benefits, Corporate Recovery, Planning (DM), Corporate Fraud on the Planning Enforcement Working Group Recommendations.
The officer stated that a lot of work had been completed including an increase in officers and temporary contractors. The team was currently concentrating on high profile cases and had reduced the backlog of cases and were currently running at 290 live cases.
The team were piloting debt enforcement agents to help collect information which could then be passed to enforcement officers to deal with. This had been negotiated at no extra cost to the Council. More notices had been served and there was a positive enforcement approach to high profile cases.
The officer confirmed that work was underway for Enforcement Officers and Planning Officers to work together to ensure that planning conditions imposed on future planning applications were both realistic and enforceable.
Consideration was given to:
· The number of Enforcement Officers was not likely to increase and it was a reasonable capacity for an Authority of this size noting that enforcement is a discretionary service
· The fact that, despite the fact enforcement is discretionary, MDDC took enforcement seriously
· Low grade enforcement would be targeted through the new contract with the debt enforcement agents who collected the data about possible planning breaches
· A agency Planning Solicitor was working 2 days a week and a permanent role was currently being advertised
· A sub group of the Planning Committee had not been implemented as Planning Enforcement cases were being monitored by the Cabinet Member for Continuous Improvement
· The free planning advise line had been discontinued as the Council was seeking to encourage the pre application service which was a discretionary chargeable service