Deputy council leader talks about planning decision enforcement rates

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ENFORCEMENT is backing key planning decisions with seven out of eight appeals dismissed in teh Winchester district in the past year.

The Winchester district covers Whiteley, Bishop’s Waltham, Wickham and Denmead.

Cases have included: the erection of metal gates, brick piers and close-boarded wooden fencing in excess of one-metre-high near to a highway, material change-of-use and conversion of land and a building from agricultural use to use as a dwelling, the siting of caravans for residential purposes, the use of land as a highway maintenance contractor’s yard including the storage of bricks, for office use and residential accommodation and change-of-use of land from agricultural to residential.

Cllr Victoria Weston, deputy leader, said: ‘This year we had eight enforcement notice appeal decisions. Seven have been dismissed and one was successful – that is 87.5 per cent success.

‘All-too-frequently an enforcement notice served against a breach of planning control is appealed to an independent government-appointed inspector to reach the final decision.

‘Defending the council’s enforcement action at appeals is time-consuming and costly. The high success rate of appeal decisions in the last year re-enforces the council’s diligent performance of our dedicated enforcement officers.

‘I acknowledge that the perception of many is that enforcement does not have any teeth, but it is important to understand the parameters under which our officers are able to take action.’

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