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Regional Planning (Enforcement)

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many times enforcement action has been taken by the (a) regional planning offices and (b) the sub offices in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years. [108175]

The Planning Service has a number of options to seek to remedy a breach of planning control. The Planning Service normally seeks to remedy the breach initially through negotiation of remedial works, such as the removal of the unauthorised structure. This approach successfully resolves a high proportion of enforcement cases. If this approach is unsuccessful, the Department will consider formal enforcement action. Although statistical records maintained by the Planning Service have historically taken account of enforcement procedures, it is only since 1999 that separate data specifically relating to enforcement action has been recorded. It is not possible to provide a breakdown of enforcement statistics by division. Presented in the table are the total number of enforcement cases for each year since 1999. These figures appear in the Agency Annual Report and Accounts for the years 1999–2002. Figures for the present year are not yet available.

Cases investigatedCases resolvedEnforcement Notices issuedStop Notices issued
2001–023,8001,634504
2000–013,5001,422543
1999–20002,6781,167822
A review of the current system, to allow information to be readily collated on a divisional and sub-divisional basis, will be undertaken as part of Modernising Planning Processes.