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Localism Bill Enforcement Provisions Welcome, But Could Go Further Says POS

Date: 12/12/2010

The Planning Officers Society has been led to understand that the Localism Bill is to introduce a strengthening of enforcement powers; this is believed to include:

  • A retrospective application will not be allowed after an enforcement notice has been served; and
  • Concealment (of unauthorised development) will be a criminal offence

John Silvester, Spokesperson for the Society, said "whilst this is welcome we suggest further changes would be beneficial"; these could include:

  • making it a statutory duty to take enforcement action when it is considered expedient to do so;
  • enabling LPAs to impose penalty charges on the service of an enforcement notice as and when considered appropriate;
  • an increase in the fines that can be imposed by Magistrates Courts to demonstrate the importance of enforcement and to deter future unauthorised activity; and
  • more streamlined regulatory procedures - such as reducing the time it takes to deal with appeals against the service of enforcement notices; and any repeat unauthorised activity by the same perpetrator to be capable of expedited action.

POS has recently provided the LGA with an overview statement to assist in their lobbying of Government for improvements to the Planning Enforcement System; to download a copy click here

To see a digest of the Bill's provisions click here and the  DCLG Summary of the Bill

To read the Bill itself click here

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