The Royal Borough’s planning enforcement team was one of the most active enforcement teams in the country in 2015 according to figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government.
The figures show that the team served 27 Temporary Stop Notices, more than any other local authority in the UK, which represents 11 per cent of all Temporary Stop Notices served in the UK last year. The team issued more Breach of Condition Notices than the rest of the country in the last three months of 2015 too and the second most in the country in 2015.
Putting these figures in perspective, of all the Temporary Stop Notices served in London in 2015 a third of them were in the four squares miles of the Royal Borough. Furthermore the team served more Temporary Stop Notices than the combined total of Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and every other metropolitan district in the country.
These figures are down to the Royal Borough’s tough stance on breaches of planning conditions relating to construction traffic. The planning enforcement team has a zero tolerance approach to any breach of a site’s Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP). CTMPs are required for any basement development that requires planning permission and if the CTMP is not strictly complied with both the owner and builders can receive both a Temporary Stop Notice and Breach of Condition Notice at once.
The Council receives many reports of construction vehicles failing to comply with CTMP planning conditions. In collecting evidence enforcement officers work with their colleagues in other departments, residents and even the local police. Therefore if evidence of a breach is collected the Council can issue a Temporary Stop Notice which will ensure that any further would be a criminal offence and subject to a large fine.
Cllr Timothy Coleridge, Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, said: “Our approach is tough but fair which leaves all parties under no illusion of the importance of complying with CTMPs. We have been serving more Temporary Stop Notices than the rest of the country since June last year. They are the quickest and most powerful tool to prevent construction traffic from unreasonably impacting on our residents which is why we do not use them sparingly.
“In the future we expect to be serving fewer of these notices. Not because our excellent planning enforcement team intends to rest on its laurels but because we expect developers to get the message. It is very rare that a developer makes the same mistake twice after it has received a visit from our officers which is why we only had to prosecute one site for non-compliance with a Temporary Stop Notice in 2015.”