What can you expect?
8.1 After submission of your online complaint and if assessed to be a planning enforcement issue, the complaint will be logged and investigated. You will only be contacted if required.
8.2 If a breach has occurred, the person responsible may be asked to put it right, either by submitting a planning application or by stopping the unauthorised work.
8.3 If this approach fails, the Council can then consider serving an Enforcement Notice. The Council may prosecute offenders who do not comply with an Enforcement Notice.
How long will it take?
8.4 Dealing with enforcement cases can be a lengthy and complex process. The different types of enforcement cases vary considerably in complexity as does the time taken for their resolution. It may be that the case is complicated and may involve a multi-agency investigation involving Lancashire County Council and the Environment Agency. If a person decides to appeal against an enforcement notice, this will add to the time taken to resolve the case. In consequence it is not possible to give a standard time for dealing with enforcement cases.
8.5 If the investigations indicate that a breach of control has occurred that justifies enforcement action an Enforcement Notice will be served. The Notice takes a minimum period of 1 month to come into effect during which time the person(s) served with the notice can appeal against it to the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government via the Planning Inspectorate. An Enforcement Notice may be quashed or revised by the Planning Inspector who is appointed by the Secretary of State.
8.6 Where an appeal is lodged the Council can take no further action until the appeal has been decided. It is not unusual for the appeal process to take several months.
8.7 An Enforcement Notice specifies the time period needed for compliance. This period will take account of the steps required to comply with the Notice and will set a practical and reasonable period for their completion.
8.8 However, if someone does not comply with a notice they may be prosecuted with the possibility of being fined by the Courts.
8.9 Where a breach of control is causing serious harm to amenity which cannot be remedied if allowed to continue, the Council can seek immediate remedial action. This action may involve the serving of a Stop Notice when an Enforcement Notice has already been issued.
8.10 The Enforcement Officer will advise you of any significant progress made as and when this occurs. Please be aware that due to peaks of workload, this may take more time to conclude.