Guide to Development Management at Gateshead - page 52

What is Planning Enforcement?
The Local Planning Authority can take action if any development
is carried out for which planning or other permission is required
but not obtained, or where conditions on a planning permission
are not complied with.
The carrying out of development without planning permission is
not a criminal offence (apart from specific cases such as
unauthorised works to listed buildings or to protected trees). The
primary provisions available to the Local Planning Authority are
remedial, that is to restore the situation to that before the breach
of planning control occurred.
Breaches of Planning Control
There are two main aspects of breaches of planning control; the
undertaking of development without planning permission, and
the contravention of conditions or limitations.
Where development has been undertaken without necessary
planning permission, the Local Planning Authority will normally
make an initial attempt to persuade the owner or occupier of the
site to either make an application and/or cease work. However,
negotiations should not hamper or delay whatever formal
enforcement action may be required to make the development
acceptable on planning grounds, or compel it to stop. If an
application is not forthcoming, or is subsequently refused, the
Local Planning Authority may, if expedient to do so, commence
enforcement action. There may be various reasons why a Local
Planning Authority considers that it is not expedient to take
action. These may include:
The development or activity taking place may already have, or
not need, planning permission.
The development or activity taking place is causing so little
environmental impact that it is not expedient to take action.
There is insufficient evidence of breach of planning control and
the most expedient action is for the Local Planning Authority
to continue monitoring the situation.
The development or activity taking place has been built, or
has been going on, for so long, (ten years for most uses, four
years for buildings) that it is immune from enforcement.
However, if the landowner or developer will not co-operate, or if
a retrospective application is refused, the Local Planning
Authority may consider more formal action. The various forms of
formal action available to the Local Planning Authority are set
out overleaf.
Planning Enforcement
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