Content

Ombudsman Annual Review Letter 2019/20

Ombudsman Annual Review Letter 2017/18

Ombudsman Annual Review Letter 2016/17

Ombudsman Annual Review letter 2015/16

Building Control

10 March 2021 - Complaint reference 20 009 459

Mr X complained about the Council’s handling of a building control matter. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. This is because they cannot achieve any worthwhile outcome for Mr X.

30 September 2017 - Complaint reference 17 002 592

Mr X complained the Council failed to take enforcement action to protect him from his neighbour’s boiler flue. There was no fault in the way the Council made its decision

15 September 2017 - Complaint reference 16 018 341

The Council acted properly in negotiating a S106 planning obligation with the complainant. It then properly processed his planning application. The later liability for the Community Infrastructure Levy placed on the complainant was not due to any fault by the Council.

21 February 2017 - Complaint reference 16 012 907

There was no fault in the Council’s consideration of the highway matters when considering the planning application.

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

Corporate Services

15 November 2019 - Complaint reference 19 006 300

Mr X complains the Council has refused to consider his complaint and that staff have been obstructive and sent offensive letters. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. This is because it is unlikely we will find fault in the Council’s actions. And we do not consider that Mr X has suffered a significant personal injustice which warrants our involvement.

Council Tax

13 October 2021 - Complaint reference 21 006 694

Ms X says the Council is using aggressive tactics to recover council tax arrears. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the way the Council is trying to recover council tax arrears from the complainant. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council.

Development control

14 September 2021 - Complaint reference 21 005 481

Mrs X complained that the Council had not taken formal enforcement action against a developer for a breach of planning control. She also complained it failed to keep proper records of past planning applications. The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint about the Council’s handling of a planning enforcement matter. This is because there is no evidence of fault in its approach. We will not investigate Mrs X’s complaint about the Council’s failure to provide details of a previous application as it would be reasonable for her to take the matter to court.

25 August 2021 - Complaint reference 21 005 134

Ms B complained about the Council’s decision that her neighbour’s demolition of their veranda does not require planning permission. She says it contradicts permitted development rules and its previous correspondence with her. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the Council's decision not to require a planning application for demolishing a veranda. They do not consider the complainant has suffered a significant personal injustice which warrants investigating.

15 July 2021 - Complaint reference 20 010 254

Mr and Mrs C complained about the actions of the Council in approving two prior notification applications for development near their listed property. We cannot find fault with the decision-making process.

9 June 2021 - Complaint reference 21 000 709

Mrs B complained about the way the Council dealt with her applications for pre-application advice and planning permission. The Ombudsman will not investigate Mrs B’s complaint about the way the Council dealt with her applications for pre-application advice and planning permission. This is because there is not enough evidence of fault by the Council to warrant an investigation.

1 June 2021 - Complaint reference 20 008 377

Mr X complained the Council failed to properly consider the effects on his solar panels when approving planning permission. The Ombudsman determined there was no fault in how the Council considered the effect on Mr X’s solar panels. There was fault in how the Council explained its ability to control the development, but this did not cause an injustice to Mr X.

11 February 2021 - Complaint reference 20 009 784

Mrs X complained about the way the Council dealt with a neighbour’s planning application. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because it is unlikely they can add to the investigation already carried out by the Council and an investigation is unlikely to lead to a different outcome.

1 February 2021 - Complaint reference 20 009 542

Mr X complained about the Council’s consideration of and decision on his planning application. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. This is because Mr X has rights of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against the Council’s refusal decision. That appeal provides the remedy Mr X wants, for his application to be reconsidered.

17 September 2020 - Complaint reference 19 018 741

The Council provided Mr and Mrs B with incorrect information about a Tree Preservation Order on their land. The Council has agreed to pay them £820 to cover the cost of their unnecessary expenses and £500 in recognition of the significant inconvenience they experienced.

23 April 2020 - Complaint reference 19 021 251

Mr X complains that there are two planning applications on the Council’s website which wrongly link his home to the applications. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint that the Council has permitted two planning applications to be wrongly linked to the complainant’s home. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council.

26 February 2020 - Complaint reference 18 018 599

The Ombudsman found fault by the Council on Mrs G’s complaint about the way it granted consent for a prior approval application for a telecommunications mast in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The planning officer failed to properly document the consideration and assessment of the proposed appearance and screening of the mast. The agreed action remedies the injustice caused.

20 December 2019 - Complaint reference 19 005 793

Mr B complains that there was fault in the way the Council decided to grant planning permission to extend the house to the rear of his own. The Ombudsman has found no fault in the way the Council considered the application, so we cannot question the merits of its decision to grant planning permission.

28 October 2019 - Complaint reference 19 002 424

Mr X complains the Council wrongly issued a Certificate of proposed lawful use for a car park. He says it wrongly determined the site was within the curtilage of the property and failed to properly consider relevant caselaw. There was no fault in how the Council made its decision.

30 August 2019 - Complaint reference 18 015 485

The Council is not at fault in how it reached its decision to grant planning permission for a neighbour’s development

31st July 2019 - Complaint reference 19 004 059

The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint that the Council failed to ensure a developer complied with the conditions on planning permission for a development where Mr X lives. The complaint was late and it was unlikely that the Council's actions would be found at fault.  

9th April 2019 - Complaint reference 18 010 423

The Ombudsman does not find the Council to be at fault when deciding not to include a tree in an adjacent garden in a tree preservation order.

1st April 2019 - Complaint reference 18 017 174

The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint that the Council granted planning permission for a bigger dwelling than he was allowed on land he used to own. The Council’s recent decision does not cause Mr X injustice and if he was unhappy with the decision on his application it would have been reasonable for him to appeal

20 August 2018 -  complaint reference 18 005 806

The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s practice in relation to the retention minutes of Development Management Committee (“DMC”) meetings and the destruction of audio recordings. This is because the complaint is late and there are no good reasons to exercise the Ombudsman’s discretion to investigate it now.

17 August 2018 - complaint reference 18 005 675

Mr X complains about the way the Council considered a planning application. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because there is insufficient injustice to warrant investigation as the planning application was withdrawn.

8 May 2018 - complaint reference 17 020 205

Mr X complains about the grant of planning permission for a holiday home near his house. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because there is no evidence of fault by the Council.

3 April 2018 - complaint reference 17 019 231

Ms X complains that the Council has placed its actions against her concerning planning enforcement complaints on its website. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because there is no evidence of fault.

19 March 2018 - complaint reference 17 017 920

The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaints about the Council’s  processing of a planning application and decision not to take enforcement action at his neighbour’s property. It is unlikely we will find fault in the Council’s actions.

25 January 2018 - complaint reference 17 013 986

The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the actions of a Council Planning Enforcement Officer. This is because we could not add anything further to the Council’s response. Additionally, other aspects of the complaint concern personnel matters and these are outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction.

14 December 2017 - complaint reference 17 001 077

There was no fault in the way the Council considered and determined a planning application next to the complainant’s home

18 May 2017 - Complaint reference 17 000 660

The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr Y’s complaints about the Council granting planning permission for a house on agricultural land. This has not caused Mr Y any personal injustice.

24 April 2017 - Complaint reference 16 019 117

The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint on behalf of himself and five local residents. We are unlikely to find fault in the way the Council decided to grant planning permission for up to forty homes on two sites near to where he lives. Also the injustice he says he will suffer because of ten more homes built across the two agreed development sites is not sufficient to warrant an investigation.

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.

Environmental Health

21 August 2020 - complaint reference 19 012 328

The is no evidence of fault in how the Council made its decision to serve an abatement notice which allowed a clay pigeon shoot to hold shooting events and practice shoots for 87 days per year.

23 July 2019 -  complaint reference 19 004 108

Mr X complains the Council failed to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice following his report of dog fouling. He also complains the Council has failed to provide him with information he has requested and breached the Data Protection Act. The Ombudsman does not intend to investigate this complaint. This is because we do not consider Mr X has suffered significant personal injustice, he has reported his complaint about access to information to the Information Commissioner’s Office. And we cannot investigate allegations of criminal activity or matters that affect all or most of the people in the Council’s area.

24 October 2017 - complaint reference 17 000 550

There is no evidence that the Council failed to take appropriate action to limit the growth of a clay pigeon shooting range near Mr B’s address. It appropriately investigated Mr B’s noise nuisance complaints. Therefore, the Ombudsman will not challenge the merits of its decisions. But at times its communication with him was poor.

Housing Benefits

16 October 2017 - complaint reference 17 010 125

The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about a housing benefit overpayment. This is because the Council has provided a proportionate response by waiving repayment and offering to cover the complainant’s legal fees. It is unlikely an investigation would lead to a different outcome.

Housing Service

18 August 2021 - complaint reference 202011449

The Ombudsman has found that there was no maladministration by the landlord in its handling of the resident’s reports of anti-social behaviour caused by her neighbour because the landlord complied with its anti-social behaviour policy by offering mediation, requesting diary sheets, logging an anti-social behaviour case, which remained open following the completion of the complaint investigation, installing noise monitoring equipment at the resident’s property on two occasions, and issuing the neighbour with a warning about their behaviour.

29 January 2021 - complaint reference 202007087

In the Ombudsman’s opinion the landlord’s decision to not reinstate home visits as part of the MSS service from May 2020 was reasonable as it explained that its decision was made following a risk assessment, taking into account the Government’s guidance, to protect its staff and residents.

7 December 2020 - complaint reference  201912937

The ombudsman found fault with the Council's handling of the ASB investigation and was ordered to pay £300 to the complainant to acknowledge the distress and inconvenience of the landlord’s decision to not clearly respond to the tenant’s ongoing reports of ASB.

1 August 2018 - complaint reference 17 019 005

The ombudsman found no fault with the Council's handling of the complainant's application for social housing.

21 June 2018 - complaint reference 17 019 991

The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the complainant’s priority on the housing register. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council.

8 December 2017 - complaint reference 17 008 675

The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint that his current property is unsuitable and he should be in a higher allocations band. This is because it is unlikely further investigation would find fault.

19 September 2017 - complaint reference 17 008 414

The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s decision to place the complainant in the lowest band on the housing register. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council.

14 August 2017 - complaint reference 16 011 978

Mrs X complains the Council placed her in the wrong banding for housing allocation, which meant she spent a period of time in unsuitable accommodation unnecessarily. My investigation has not found the Council at fault.

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.

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

21 August 2017 - Complaint reference 16 014 813

Council delays did not prevent Mr B securing a boat concession. The Council properly valued the concession.

4 October 2016 - 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

Street Scene

19 October 2018 - Complaint reference 18 008 913

The Ombudsman will not investigate Miss X’s complaint about damage to her vehicle caused by a bracket attached to the side of a council vehicle. If Miss X considers the Council is liable for the damage it would be reasonable for her to take the matter to court.

13 February 2018 - Complaint reference 17 008 128

Mrs X complained about the way the Council sited a road sign across her driveway. The Council agreed to site a smaller sign, at its expense, and apologised for any frustration Mrs X has suffered.

Recycling and Waste

20 August 2021 - Complaint reference 21 005 079

Mr B complains the Council has missed 8 refuse/recycling collections over an unspecified period. He says the Council has taken his money for the refuse collection service but failed to deliver. He wants to be paid his hourly rate for the 8 occasions he had to contact the Council. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint about missed refuse/recycling collections. The complainant has not suffered sufficient personal injustice to warrant their involvement. And they cannot achieve the outcome he is seeking.