Content

Ombudsman Annual Review letter 2015/16

Planning policy

10 October 2016 - complaint reference 16 008 536

The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council’s revision of a parish boundary as part of a decision to create a new parish and parish council. The Council’s decision has not caused Mr X significant injustice and it is unlikely the Ombudsman would find fault in the way it was reached.

Property & Estates

4 October 2026 - Complaint reference 16 003 710

The Council was wrong to invite a bid after the advertised deadline. However, this fault did not directly cause the loss of the sale of Mr X’s business

Building Control

31 May 2016 - complaint reference 15 014 536

The Council was not at fault in its communications with the complainant about what information it needed to provide her with a certificate of regularisation for building works undertaken without building control consent. It is also not at fault for not issuing the certificate without further inspection or suitable evidence from the complainant about the work undertaken

Council Tax

24 November 2015 - complaint reference 15 012 640

Mr X complains about the Council’s decision not to award a council tax exemption. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because there is a right of appeal to a Valuation Tribunal

Legal Services

2 September 2015 - complaint reference 15 007 051

The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mr A’s complaints about the way the Council provided information to him, the Information Commissioner and the first tier tribunal. This is because the Ombudsman cannot consider matters which the Information Commissioner (ICO) and the first tier tribunal have already considered. The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr A’s concerns about the time it took the Council to provide the ICO with documentation or his allegation the Council falsified information it provided. This is because the Council’s actions have not caused a significant enough injustice to Mr A to warrant an investigation.

Housing Service

01 September 2016 - complaint reference 15 020 508

The Council was at fault for refusing Mr and Mrs B’s right to buy application. In response to the Ombudsman’s enquiries, the Council has agreed to change its original decision and allow Mr and Mrs B to buy their council house through the right to buy process. But, there is no evidence of fault regarding the advice the Council gave Mr and Mrs B about their application or the sale of their second home.

10 June 2016 - complaint reference 15 018 868

There is no fault by the Council in the advice it gave, or in the way it assessed an application for a discretionary housing payment. There is no fault by the Council in its charges for an alarm system. The Council’s offer to refund the charge for a six week period when the alarm was broken is fair. There is no fault in the way it assessed a request to transfer properties.

3 June 2016 - complaint reference 16 001 621

The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about unsuitable housing and the housing register. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council

18 May 2016 - complaint reference 16 000 964

The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the housing register because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council.

22 December 2015 - complaint reference 15 014 120

The Ombudsman will not investigate Ms X’s complaint about the Council’s actions while it leased her property from her and soon after. It is reasonable to expect Ms X to make a claim in the court for damage to her property. An investigation is unlikely to find fault in the Council sending a bill to the wrong address. The lack of a gas safety certificate has not caused Ms X an injustice.

19 May 2015 - complaint reference 14 014 108

There was no fault in how the Council assessed Ms X’s medical priority for rehousing. I do not uphold the complaint.

9 June 2015 - complaint reference 14 013 577

The Council has already offered a suitable remedy for the injustice caused by providing Mrs H with an incorrect valuation when she applied to buy her home. The Council did not delay significantly in telling her of the error, and it did not cause a delay in completing the purchase. The Council has already offered a suitable remedy for the injustice caused.

 Development control

28 September 2016 - Complaint reference 16 006 770

Mr N complains about the Council’s decision not to take any enforcement action over damage to a protected tree. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint as she has not seen enough evidence of fault with the Council’s decision to criticise it.

 17 March 2016 - Complaint reference 15011296

Mrs C’s complaint about planning enforcement was upheld as there was fault by the Council but the Ombudsman does not consider it caused Mrs C an injustice requiring a remedy.

18 February 2016 - complaint reference 15 006 279 & 15006973

There is no fault in the way the Council reached decisions not to take enforcement action against the material used in an agricultural building and the installation of silencer coverings and fans in the roof.

19 January 2016 - complaint reference 15 012 485

There was no fault in the Council’s decision not to take formal enforcement action against breaches of planning control at a neighbouring property.

15 December 2015 - complaint reference 15 014 508

Mr X complains about the Council’s refusal of his planning application for a fence around his property. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because he has appealed to a Planning Inspector.

23 October 2015 - complaint reference 15 000 778

The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s consideration of a planning matter as she is unlikely to find fault in the Council’s actions.

21 October 2015 - complaint reference 14 017 381

There is no evidence of fault by the Council in considering complaints that a house had not been built as shown on the approved plans. This complaint is not upheld. On three issues, the Council considered the points and resolved to take no action. The Council approved the fourth issue as a minor amendment at Committee.

28 September 2015 - complaint reference 15 002 414

There was no fault in the Council’s decision to refuse Mr B’s planning application for 44 houses

19 August 2015 - complaint reference 14 003 977, 13014259, 14018815, 14018816

There was no fault in the Council’s decision to invite a retrospective planning permission rather than take enforcement action. The Council was not wrong to allow the applicant to fix film to the window instead of obscurely glazing it as required by the planning condition. However there is fault in how the Council handled the complainants’ concerns about the height of the building because it insisted on a position but has not been able to explain how it has reached this.

11 June 2015 - complaint reference 15 002 524

The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr M’s complaint about the Council erecting a fence on what he says is his land. This is a dispute that would better be resolved in the courts.

11 June 2015 - complaint reference 14 017 358

The Council acted without fault in approving an outline planning application. This was because it considered the objections raised. It also gave valid planning grounds for its decision. Finally, the Council was entitled to deem a historic planning permission irrelevant.

29 April 2015 - complaint reference 14 010 011

The Council was at fault for granting planning permission for a new residential development subject to conditions it was not reasonable for it to enforce.

11 February 2015 - complaint reference 14 016 629

Mr X complains about the Council’s decision to approve a planning application for floodlighting. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because there is no evidence of maladministration.

30 January 2015 - complaint reference 14 000 013

There was no fault in the Council’s decision to allow two new houses to be built despite residents’ concerns about flooding and highway safety.

19 January 2015 - complaint reference 14 003 892

There is no evidence of administrative fault in the Council’s consideration of a planning application. It used its professional judgement to decide an application would not significantly impact on the neighbours’ residential amenity.

16 January 2015 - complaint reference 14 015 837

Mr X complains on behalf of the Parish Council about a housing development planning permission granted by the Council. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because she can only investigate complaints by members of the public.

19 December 2014 - complaint reference 14 011 141

The council, having approved plans showing the suggested location of a public footpath, cannot now make the developer move the footpath elsewhere

27 November 2014 - complaint reference 14 013 489

Mr X complains that the council placed a decision on his planning application on the council’s website before notifying him. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because there is no evidence of maladministration or sufficient injustice to warrant the cost of investigation.

12 November 2014 - complaint reference 14 012 120

Mr X complains about advice given prior to a planning application. The Ombudsman would not investigate this complaint because there is no evidence of maladministration and there was a right of appeal to a Planning Inspector.

11 November 2014 - complaint reference 14 009 035

Mr B complains about the council’s failure to control his neighbour’s development

31 October 2014 - complaint reference 14 005 970

Ms A complains the council failed to properly consider two planning applications to build a new dwelling opposite her home. Without evidence of fault by the council the Ombudsman will not pursue the complaint any further.

29 October 2014 - complaint reference 14 007 123

There is no evidence of fault in the council’s decision to discharge a planning condition in 2013 and, despite a dispute about the exact boundary of the World Heritage Site, there is no evidence it has affected any of the decisions.

2 April 2014 - complaint reference 13 020 659

Miss X complained about the council’s decision to require a developer to maintain open space on the estate where she bought a house. The developer employed a management company to collect payments from the householders to pay for maintenance. I have not investigated this complaint because it is a private matter and there is no evidence of fault on the council’s part.

Environmental health

9 September 2014 - complaint reference 13 018 425

Mr F complains that the council did not send samples of a deposit arising after a nearby fire at a yard to find out if it was hazardous to health. After the council officer visited the site of the fire and gave advice, the fires stopped. There was no fault in the officer’s decision not to carry out analysis on the deposit.

Licensing

18 June 2014 - complaint reference 14 000 283

Mr X complained about the way the council conducted a hearing at which it granted a premises license. Mr X had a right of appeal to court and so the Ombudsman will not investigate the complaint further.

Administration of grants

27 October 2014 - complaint reference 14 007 069

The council delayed in refusing Mr X’s application under the flood resilience fund but there is no evidence to show he could not apply to other funds at the same time.

Housing benefit

4 November 2014 - complaint reference 14 007 379

There was delay by the council in responding to Mr P’s request for information. He wanted to know how much housing benefit had been paid to a tenant of his flat. The council has apologised and provided a response, although it will not provide the information sought. The delay did not cause such significant injustice to warrant further investigation.

Technical (Engineering) Services

7 May 2015 - complaint reference 14 010 795

The Council failed to carry out an adequate investigation of flooding to the complainants’ home over a period of three years. The Council has now agreed to conduct an investigation and to pay the complainants £200 for their time and trouble in bringing the complaint.