1.1 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states the following recommending that local planning authorities publish a local enforcement plan:
"Effective enforcement is important to maintain public confidence in the planning system. Enforcement action is discretionary, and local planning authorities should act proportionately in responding to suspected breaches of planning control. They should consider publishing a local enforcement plan to manage enforcement proactively, in a way that is appropriate to their area. This should set out how they will monitor the implementation of planning permissions, investigate alleged cases of unauthorised development and take action where appropriate."
1.2 This Local Enforcement Plan sets out East Devon District Council’s priorities for investigation, explains what will be investigated and it outlines the Council’s general discretionary powers with regard to planning enforcement. This document sets out the policy and procedures that the Council will adopt when investigating and, where applicable, remedying breaches of planning control.
1.3 This document sits below, and should be read in conjunction with, the Council’s Regulatory Enforcement and Protection Policy which sets out the general principles the Council will follow in relation to investigations, enforcements and prosecutions as part of its regulatory functions. Further advice and guidance is also available within the National Planning Practice Guidance published by the Government.
1.4 East Devon District Council recognise that unauthorised development can have adverse consequences and, if unchecked, can undermine confidence in the planning system. The Council is, therefore, committed to the effective enforcement of planning control.
1.5 Planning enforcement can be a complex and involved process with varying timescales. The aim of this strategy is to ensure the Planning Enforcement Service:
• Has a decision making process that is open, transparent and is seen to be fair and balanced;
• Provides an excellent service to those who live and work in and visit East Devon;
• Is accessible to all users, keeping all interested parties updated;
• Takes action, where appropriate, that is timely, proportionate and reasonable;
• Achieves and maintains effective and efficient enforcement of planning control.