WINCHESTER City Council currently has more than 300 current enforcement cases open.

Last year, the authority came under criticism from opposition councillors who alleged that weak enforcement of planning policies is undermining faith in the city council.

They said that developers are exploiting the weakness to ignore planning policies across the district.

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In 2021, the enforcement team saw several staff departures and vacancies creating a backlog of work.

At a meeting of full council earlier this month, Cllr David McLean asked how many outstanding enforcement cases there are in the district.

Cabinet member for built environment, Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith said that as of January 6 the number of live enforcement cases was 342.

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He said: “Our enforcement team remains very busy given that in 2021 we received 461 new enforcement complaints compared to only 300 in 2020. However, last year we managed to close 411 cases compared to 185 in 2020 so we are making real progress as we continue to implement improvements to the way the service is delivered.”

Cllr Gordon-Smith said that current cases include sites where a planning application has been invited, has been submitted and is pending decision, or has been refused and is at appeal, along with situations where an enforcement notice has been served and appealed.


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Kimberley Barber