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Planning Process

Expediency
     
It is good practice for an Authority to have a dialogue with an operator so that formal enforcement proceedings are only a last resort or are put in place in the interests of public safety or amenity. They have a wide discretion to take enforcement action as and when they regard it as expedient.
 
The Government emphasises that enforcement action should only be used where it is expedient to do so. Action should be taken where the breach of planning control is resulting in an unacceptable impact on public amenity or on areas, buildings or other interests that should be protected. It is good practice for an Authority to have a dialogue with an operator so that formal enforcement proceedings are only a last resort or are put in place in the interests of public safety or amenity. They have a wide discretion to take enforcement action as and when they regard it as expedient.

Government Guidance indicates that the level of enforcement action should be commensurate with the breach of planning control to which it relates. It is considered inappropriate to take enforcement action against minor or technical breaches of planning control that cause no harm to amenity.

The normal test for an Authority to consider is whether the level of enforcement chosen is effective for the level of planning breach that has occurred. Government policy also notes that the level and nature of any action taken or of any attempts to regularise the situation should have regard to the impact on individuals and small businesses. However, where the breach is blatant and involves significant harm, full and immediate action is advised.
  Photo of a working quarry
There is specific reference to the potential use of enforcement powers in the case of mineral working, where unauthorised development may lead to damage to the environment that in some cases may be irretrievable. In most cases however, it notes that early dialogue with the operator should be pursued to avoid the need for enforcement in most case and achieve an appropriate remedy.
     
Government Guidance indicates that the level of enforcement action should be commensurate with the breach of planning control to which it relates. It is considered inappropriate to take enforcement action against minor or technical breaches of planning control that causes no harm to amenity.
 
Effective liaison and communication is encouraged between the minerals industry and Mineral Planning Authorities to help minimise misunderstandings of contraventions between both parties. Formal enforcement proceedings are only implemented as a last resort.



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