When a complaint or a notification of an alleged breach is received, we will visit the site in question.
The investigation will establish if a breach of planning control or an offence has occurred and who is responsible. Subsequent action in each case will depend on the nature of the breach and its effects.
In most cases we will try to resolve issues surrounding unauthorised development through negotiation and agreement and in accordance with Government advice which encourages a flexible and sympathetic approach to inadvertent breaches by small businesses and householders.
Formal action is only likely to be used in a minority of situations where:
- Demonstrable harm is being caused to interests of acknowledged importance
- The development is contrary to the Broads Local Plan
- The offender has had the offending development or breach identified to them and been given a reasonable opportunity to remedy the harmful effects.
Formal action could involve the issuing of enforcement notices, planning contravention notices, stop notices or prosecution through the magistrates' court.
Priorities reflect our planning policies and the relative impact types of unauthorised development have on the character and quality of the Broads. Priority cases are those which:
Development causing serious threat to public health and safety, or permanent, serious damage to the natural or built environment. This would apply particularly where a breach is affecting an SSSI, the water environment or navigation, a Listed Building, Ancient Monument, tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order or any breach which would damage the character of a Conservation Area. An example might be the unauthorised demolition of a listed building.
Development causing threat to public health and safety, or serious damage to the natural or built environment. This is considered harmful, but with the potential to get worse. An example might be the commencement of the construction of an unauthorised and unacceptable extension to a listed building.
This covers the majority of cases, where there is a possible breach but the damage is unlikely to be serious and it is unlikely to get worse. An example might be the construction of an unauthorised extension to a non-listed building.
This covers less serious or urgent cases. An example might be the construction of an outbuilding.