Agenda item

Adoption of the updated Planning Enforcement and Monitoring Protocol Minerals & Waste Planning Development

That the Planning Enforcement and Monitoring Protocol, Minerals & Waste Planning Development be adopted further to an Ombudsman decision dated 21 September 2021, which included a recommendation that we review our existing Planning Enforcement Protocol, Minerals and Waste Development dated September 2015 within 6-months, specifically so that our description of monitoring reflects our practise.



Caroline Smith, Planning Group Manager

Stephen Jenkins, Planning Development Manager

Helen Forbes, Principal Lawyer

Sonia Sharp, Senior Highways and Planning Solicitor


Key points raised during the discussion:


1.    The Chairman introduced the item.

2.    Members noted that an ‘odour’ condition would be included on a planning application when necessary, however, the Environmental Agency were responsible for monitoring pollution and odour issues.

3.    Officers highlighting that the Enforcement Team would provide a round-up report to the committee on occasion.

4.    A Member raised concern with the current process of dealing with operators in breach of planning conditions. Officers explained that, in the event of an operator being in breach of planning conditions, if appropriate, and in line with government policy, a retrospective application would be negotiated. However, in the event that the breach was unacceptable then an enforcement process would begin.

5.    In regard to the flow chart located on page 39 of the supplementary agenda, Members raised concerned as the chart presented that a risk of significant harm could lead to ‘no further action’. A Member further stressed that it was important to ensure that any serious harm by an operator was met with enforcement action.

6.    A legal representative highlighted that she had reviewed various enforcement policy from across the country and that the policy being considered at the meeting was the best written policy seen by her to date. 

7.    A legal representative further stated that issues were likely to be related to the Enforcement Team’s resource to monitor, inspect, make decisions and to follow up. Member also noted that, as seen in the flow chart, enforcement notices would not be issued in a situation were planning permission could be granted.

8.    In regard to the ‘Is enforcement action expedient?’ section of the chart, the legal representative proposed that it may be more appropriate to state, ‘is enforcement action possible?’ as there were situations where enforcement action was not possible. It was further stated that the council’s scheme of delegation stated that the Director – Law and Governance would be involved in any decision to take no further action.

9.    Members noted that it was unlikely that the council would be unable to start enforcement actions due to the wording of a condition.

10.Officers proposed two amendments to the flow chart on page 39 of the agenda. These were:

a.    Removed the word ‘significant’ from the section of the chart which read ‘is the risk of significant harm caused by the breach in our profession judgement?’

b.    To include an additional box under the box noted in paragraph 10a above, which read ‘reconsider enforcement action’. 

11.A Member agreed to support the policy and amendments subject to the committee reviewing the policy again in the near-term. It was also requested that Members were allowed time in advance of the committee meeting to consider the policy and make comments. The Committee agreed to hold a working group to consider the policy when appropriate.

12.The Chairman moved the recommendation with the amendments noted in paragraph 10 of this item’s minute. The Committee unanimously agreed to support the recommendation.




It was agreed that the amended Planning Enforcement and Monitoring Protocol, Minerals & Waste Planning Development dated February 2022 be adopted to replace the protocol we currently use, Planning Enforcement Protocol, Minerals and Waste Development dated September 2015.




Supporting documents: