THE Government has offered councils across the country a share of a £2 million fund to help the crackdown on illegal Green Belt developments.
All told, 37 councils will get a share of the cash. Here in the North of England, 12 local authorities are among those set to receive up to £50,000 each from the Planning Delivery Fund to support their efforts to tackle unauthorised development.
Local authorities will be able to use the money to hire enforcement officers, use new technology, and help meet the legal costs of bringing rogue developers to task for their illegal developments, the Government said.
“Once the Green Belt is built on it’s often gone for good that’s why we are determined to protect it. The public have told us loud and clear they want it kept for future generations to enjoy,” said housing minister, Esther McVey MP.
“The funding announced will help councils clamp down on rogue developers, giving the areas with the highest levels of Green Belt the funds needed to punish those who build illegally.”
The Northern local authorities are: Cheshire West and Chester; Kirklees; Wakefield; Doncaster; Barnsley; Calderdale; York; Rotherham; Cheshire East; Selby; Bradford; and Leeds.
Alongside the cash granted to these councils, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is also working in partnership with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) to overhaul the England Enforcement Handbook.
The RTPI said that the handbook, which will be reviewed and updated by the organisation’s network the National Association of Planning Enforcement (NAPE), will help ensure local authorities have access to the latest best practice advice on how to deal effectively with a range of enforcement challenges.
“We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with MHCLG to refresh the National Association of Planning Enforcement handbook for England,” said Neill Whittaker, NAPE’s chair.
“The updated handbook will support enforcement officers in carrying out their roles covering a range of topics including the Proceeds of Crime Act, lone working, gypsies and travellers, the General Permitted Development Order and advances in technology.
“The NAPE project team are currently working on the details for the updated handbook and three launch events are due to be held across England in Spring 2020.”