Cabinet considered the head of planning’s report, which sought approval of an updated planning enforcement statement. During the past year, officers had conducted a review of the planning enforcement service and had revised the planning enforcement statement. The statement included improvements to service provision, resulting in a more efficient use of resources. For example, all new cases would undergo a triage assessment to decide what action was necessary.
This council was one of the top performers in planning enforcement, but the Cabinet member recognised that there was always room for improvement. However, the public should be reminded of the limits placed on the council. The planning enforcement service was not a policing function, the objective was to find proportionate remedies to unacceptable planning harm. The planning enforcement statement set this out clearly, stating what the council could and could not do. All parish councils would be provided with a copy of the statement. The council’s website would also be updated also.
Cabinet welcomed the planning enforcement statement. The review and the statement would bring further improvements to the service and it would reduce the backlog of enforcement cases. The effectiveness of the revised statement would be kept under review.
Cabinet thanked officers for reviewing the service and preparing the revised statement, and asked that the communications team, through its head of service, was consulted on the draft planning enforcement statement before it was published.
(a) note the feedback from Scrutiny Committee;
(b) approve the new enforcement statement and approach to managing planning enforcement; and
(c) authorise the head of planning, in consultation with the South Oxfordshire District Council Cabinet member for planning, the Vale of White Horse District Council Cabinet member for community engagement, and the deputy chief executive – transformation and operations, to make any minor changes, formatting, typographical corrections or non-material amendments to the joint planning enforcement statement.