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12/09/2019

£2m for councils to address ‘illegal’ green belt development

Words: Laura Edgar
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Housing minister Esther McVey has committed £2 million to aid councils to ‘crack down on illegal developments’ in the green belt.

Councils will be able to use the money to hire enforcement officers, use new technology and help to meet the legal costs of bringing rogue local developers to task for illegal developments.  

McVey said 37 councils would be receiving a total of up to £50,000 each to help with the clampdown.

“Once the green belt is built on it’s often gone for good, that’s why we are determined to protect it. The public have told us loud and clear they want it kept for future generations to enjoy.

“The funding announced today will help councils clamp down on rogue developers, giving the areas with the highest levels of green belt the funds needed to punish those who build illegally.”

The one-off cash boost is coming from the Planning Delivery Fund.

As well as the money, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is teaming up with the RTPI to overhaul the national enforcement handbook.

The handbook is intended to provide the latest best practice and expertise on shutting down illegal building and preventing it from happening. Updates will also aim to guarantee that developers obtain full planning permission before work starts.

Neill Whittaker, chair of RTPI network the National Association of Planning Enforcement (NAPE), said: “The updated handbook will provide guidance on how to deal effectively with a range of challenges and help ensure enforcement officers have access to the latest best practice advice. This will support them in carrying out their roles covering a range of topics including the Proceeds of Crime Act, lone working, the General Permitted Development Order and advances in technology.

“The NAPE project team are currently working on the details for the updated handbook and three launch events are due to be held across England in Spring 2020.”


The councils who applied and were successful in receiving funds are:

Cheshire West and Chester

South Staffordshire

Epping Forest

Kirklees

Guildford

Tandridge

South Cambridgeshire

South Gloucestershire

York

Rugby

Mole Valley

Warwick

Staffordshire Moorlands

North Warwickshire

Rushcliffe

North Somerset

Selby

Leeds

Northumberland

Sevenoaks

Central Bedfordshire

Bath and North East Somerset

Wakefield

Doncaster

Barnsley

Calderdale

Stratford-on-Avon

Rotherham

Bromsgrove

East Hertfordshire

Chiltern

Tonbridge and Malling

Windsor and Maidenhead

Cheshire East

Bradford

Shropshire

Dorset Council

 

 


Image credit | iStock

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