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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 13th October, 2010

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation

 

Delegated Powers: Amend 1.32 of the Scheme of Delegation Relating to Planning Enforcement Powers

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of the report is to amend the Council's existing scheme of delegation in order to allow service of urgent Enforcement Notices and to allow the withdrawal of Enforcement Notices when some defect or failure is found.

Recommendation

1.             That subject to consultation with Planning Committee the current scheme of delegation as identified by Minute No. 176 (1) 98/99 be amended at paragraph 1.32 as follows:

To authorise the issue of Enforcement and Stop Notices, where reference to the Cabinet would occasion detrimental delay and to allow the variation or withdrawal of a previously issued Enforcement Notice when a defect, error or other minor variation is deemed legally necessary.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To allow for the urgent and immediate service of Enforcement Notices, given the quasi judicial nature of the action and to allow the variation and, if necessary withdrawal.

Background

2.             Members will be aware that it is sometimes necessary to serve Enforcement and Stop Notice in urgent cases where immediate harm is being caused to local residents or the surrounding area.  Currently paragraph 1.32 of the scheme of delegation allows for the urgent service of Stop Notices but does not allow the service of Enforcement Notices.  This ability is technically flawed in that a Stop Notice cannot in any event be served without first having served an Enforcement Notice and thus it is considered necessary to ensure the delegation is clear on this point.  By amending the scheme of delegation to include the service of Enforcement Notices, this will also allow the flexibility to service such Notices without recourse to Stop Notices, as a first step in attempting to resolve Breaches of Planning Control.

3.             Furthermore, during the course of dealing with an Enforcement case, following the service of an Enforcement Notice and sometimes when an Appeal against that Notice is ongoing it can become necessary for either the terms of that Notice to be varied, usually in terms of the time necessary to comply with its terms or in respect of the nature of the breach, or for the Notice itself to be withdrawn.  Such cases can occur when a typographical error is identified or some other error becomes apparent such as an incorrect breach being identified or an inadvertent case of under enforcement due to deficiencies in drafting.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The changes proposed are considered essential and necessary to allow the efficient operation of the Enforcement function of the Council and will be operated in direct consultation with the Head of Legal Services and/or any other Legal representative acting on behalf of the Council.  The changes proposed will not lead to any changes in operating procedures in relation to the service of Enforcement Notices save for allowing urgent Notices to be Served without reference to Planning Committee and similarly allowing officers the ability to vary the Terms of Notices or withdrawal of Notices when deemed absolutely necessary.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

5.             None arising out of this report, although the ability to withdraw and/or vary the terms or working of Notices may well have a positive implication in avoiding unnecessary and costly appeals when variations to Notices could result in Appeals becoming unnecessary.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

6.             The changes proposed have been discussed with the Council's Legal Officer dealing directly with Planning Enforcement matters for the Council and will allow a more efficient operation of this quasi legal function.

Crime and Disorder Implications

7.             None arising out of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

8.             None arising out of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

9.             The ability to deal promptly and efficiently with enforcement matters links to the Corporate Objective relating to the environment.

Policy Framework and Budget

10.        This is a matter for Council decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

11.        None applicable, as this does not impact on any one particular Ward.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

12.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None arising out of this report.

Contact Officer

Marcus Goldsworthy - Operational Manager Development Control - Tel: 01446 704661.

Officers Consulted

Legal Services - Committee Report

Finance, ICT and Property

Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration.