Planning Enforcement as a service, profession and activity has historically enjoyed far less focus and resources than the other elements within the planning trinity. Despite a brief renaissance during the mid-noughties the unprecedented budget cuts facing local authorities and the structural, procedural, regulatory and resource changes that have been brought about by the coalition government’s reforms to planning generally, has once again forced planning enforcement out in to the cold. There is real concern that not only is the momentum of the positive changes made over the last decade being lost but that planning enforcement faces a very fundamental questioning of its worth. This report investigates the state of planning enforcement as perceived by both public and private sector planning professionals and whilst many consider that the wider planning profession, government and academia have failed to fully appreciate the value of planning enforcement, the system itself does not appear to be fundamentally flawed. Rather it is the continued under investment and current management of planning enforcement services across the country, which threatens to undermine the profession and those who work within it. The implications of this are serious, and include a degraded environment and abused planning system. Examples of good practice are emerging and organisationally the profession is beginning to raise the profile of enforcement. However, much more is needed to be done before the value of planning enforcement to the effective management of the built and natural environment is fully appreciated.
Sheppard, A., Britnell, S., & Cooke, J. (2014). Planning enforcement England: At the crossroads