All enforcement decisions may be taken by the Assistant Director of Planning and Growth.
Sometimes matters may be referred to Planning Committee for a decision. The committee acts as a quasi-judicial body and makes its decisions based on the evidence and information submitted. When a case is referred to the committee, both the complainant and the alleged offender will be invited to submit comments for inclusion in the committee report.
What happens when a breach is confirmed
When a planning breach is confirmed, any action taken will be proportionate to the nature and seriousness of the breach. We will consider:
- National Planning Policy Framework and relevant planning policy contained in circulars
- the adopted Development Plan
- the Infrastructure Requirement List (IRL), if infrastructure improvements are necessary to mitigate the impact of the breach
- provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998
- planning history of the site
Many planning breaches can often be resolved informally by negotiation – we will continue to do this. Formal action only takes place where other means to resolve the problem have failed.
We take enforcement action – including the service of an Enforcement Notice – only when it is in the public interest and necessary to:
- protect the amenity of the area
- protect the public
- protect highway safety
- maintain the integrity of the development management process in Thurrock
We would not normally take formal enforcement action against a trivial or technical breach of control that causes little or no harm to local area or neighbours.