Latest Government figures show the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) served more planning enforcement notices than any National Park Authority in England and is ranked joint 22nd of 322 local planning authorities nationally for the number of planning enforcement notices served.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) published figures show the number of planning enforcement notices issued each year. Planning enforcement notices are legal documents against unacceptable breaches of planning control. An enforcement notice sets out what the landowner must do, at their own cost, to remedy the breach of planning control or its harm. If the landowner fails to comply with an enforcement notice they are committing a criminal offence and risk an unlimited fine on conviction.
Between April 2021 and March 2022, the LDNPA’s team of five enforcement planners served 34 planning enforcement notices. Enforcement notices were issued against unlawful holiday lets, glamping units, car parks, caravans, campsites, a bar, and a new golf course amongst other things.
Chair of the Lake District National Park Authority Development Control Committee, Dr Geoff Davies said:
“The planning process helps to ensure development happens in the right places in the National Park and that it meets certain criteria, within the context of national and local planning policies. It’s about protecting and enhancing the natural and cultural heritage and sustaining the vibrant communities of this wonderful part of the world.
“So, we take firm action to ensure that people conform to the planning rules, particularly when it comes to housing for locals. When a planning condition clearly says a property must be someone’s permanent home, there really is no excuse for holiday letting it,” continued Geoff.
The Authority has seen a large increase in the number of breaches of planning control relating to unauthorised holiday lets and even found local occupancy properties being advertised as holiday lets.
The Authority says it will continue to focus on taking formal action against breaches of local occupancy conditions and unauthorised holiday lets because providing homes for local people is a priority for them.
Julie Birkett, the Lake District National Park Authority's Enforcement Planning Manager said:
“We offer a duty planner every weekday to give informal planning advice over the phone. It’s easy for people to check if what they want to do is lawful. Unfortunately we still see unauthorised and unacceptable developments taking place, meaning formal action is needed and that can be very costly to put to right. We would much rather people took advice before they embarked on any new builds or changes to existing building,” concluded Julie Birkett.
Anyone can report a breach of an occupancy restriction by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.