Following reports of a breach of a Temporary Stop Notice (TSN) on land to the rear to Malvern Road, Grays, Thurrock Council is to begin legal proceedings against the landowner.
A TSN was served on the site to cease unauthorised activity on the land. Using a TSN process means it is not necessary to wait for an enforcement notice to be issued, the effect of the temporary stop notice is immediate and a person guilty of an offence is liable on conviction to an unlimited fine.
Cllr Rob Gledhill, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: "This is a case of history repeating itself on this site and I believe that current planning regulations are woefully inadequate in these situations. While we have been able to issue a TSN, the council's options for taking action are limited, and this can lead to discontent among residents – leaving local law abiding people to feel that the system is stacked against them.
"It doesn't matter if it's building an extension or dumping tonnes of hardcore for foundations for mobile homes, stop should mean stop and there needs to be the ability for action to be taken immediately to enforce it.
"I will be writing to the Secretary of State about this next week, calling for an urgent review of planning law to give councils or the police some teeth to deal with those who take advantage of current legislation."