The government advises that it is good practice to have an Enforcement Policy and is aimed at providing an open and transparent process to give clarity on procedure and to manage expectations of complainants as well as those who have carried out unlawful development. Southampton City Council’s Enforcement policy sets out the following:
The role of planning enforcement in maintaining public belief in the integrity of the planning system;
What is, and is not, a breach of planning control and that such situations can be avoided by first consulting the duty planning officer at Gateway;
Emphasising that action is based upon the expediency of doing so where significant harm to amenity has resulted from the unauthorised development;
Our criteria for the prioritisation of investigations and the timescales they will be investigated in;
What we’re looking for in terms of information when people complain about development;
What the outcomes can be from an investigation;
Formal action that can be taken and the penalties for non-compliance; and,
What information can be revealed to a person who has carried out the development being investigated, with regard to the Freedom of Information Act.
The adopted Enforcement Policy is available to download below.
From April the 6th 2009 there are new rules for enforcement notices and appeals - follow the link below to the 'Enforcement appeals' page for more information.