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Planning enforcement charter

Not keeping to legal notices

It is only when someone who has been served with a notice does not comply with its requirements that an offence is committed. If this is the case the options available to us include

  • carrying out work to put the problem right and charging the person for the costs involved;
  • getting a court order to stop or prevent someone from breaking planning controls;
  • referring the case to the Procurator Fiscal for possible prosecution; and
  • serving a fixed-penalty notice.

We may consider whether we could carry out the work ourselves (although only a very limited number of cases are likely to involve direct action due to the nature of the problem, the costs involved and the problems of recovering the costs from the person responsible). We may also decide to seek prosecution. This involves reporting the case to the Procurator Fiscal. If the Fiscal accepts a case, the matter is referred to the Sheriff Court and a date is set for a trial. If the case is not accepted, we will not continue with enforcement action unless a revised notice is served based on new evidence. We would usually only make a report to the Fiscal as a last resort and if the problem is causing serious harm. Finally we are able to serve a Fixed Penalty Notice. The responsible person has the option to pay, within 30 days, the fixed penalty, which would indemnify them from prosecution.

Service standard

If someone does not keep to the terms of any enforcement notice, we will make every effort to sort the case out satisfactorily. Options include:

  • direct action by the council
  • getting a court order
  • referring the matter to the Procurator Fiscal for possible prosecution
  • serving a fixed-penalty notice