Effective enforcement is important as a means of maintaining public confidence in the planning system. It is not the purpose of planning enforcement to punish those responsible for a breach of planning control and it is important to remember that enforcement is a discretionary power. This means that the Council will decide if it is in the public interest to take enforcement action where there has been a breach of planning control. The Council is not obliged to take any action, and in some cases we may decide that no action is necessary. In some cases, the Council may not be able to take any action. Some complaints, such as neighbour disputes over boundaries, relate to matters over which planning law has no control, and cannot be investigated.
This Planning Enforcement Policy document sets out South Ribble Borough Council's priorities for the enforcement of planning control, explains what will be investigated and what will not, and outlines the Council's general discretionary powers with regard to planning enforcement. The plan sets out the priorities for dealing with complaints and clarifies the timescales for response by Enforcement Officers. This document also sets out the Council's general approach to handling planning related enforcement matters and what can be expected from our service.