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Statement from Broughton Parish Council re Planning Enforcement

By Clerk to the Parish Council Broughton Parish Council

Monday, 25 November 2019

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Broughton Parish Council Contributor

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Statement in response to Kettering Borough Council’s approach to Planning Enforcement

Broughton Parish Council consider the unauthorised development taking place off Cransley Rd, Loddington as wholly unacceptable and a reflection of a wider problem throughout the Borough of Kettering.

The deliberate and well orchestrated wholesale destruction of what was a field in open countryside adjacent to a resevoir has undoubtedly caused extensive ecological damage and must not go unchallenged.

It is the view of Broughton Parish Council that Kettering Borough Council's lack of any clear and effective policy in respect of Gypsy & Traveller pitch provision over many years has contributed in no small measure to the position the Borough now finds itself in.

The result of this ineffective management of policy is replicated throughout the Borough where there are many examples of unauthorised development, temporary permissions with no apparent long-term solution and breaches of planning conditions with no enforcement action in place. We have this situation at the Gypsy & Traveller site at Broughton which Kettering Borough Council has, in effect, proactively allowed to become significantly degraded in recent times. We continue to challenge Kettering Borough Council on their actions and decisions at every occasion but to very little avail.

It is becoming clear that Kettering Borough Council's apparent unwillingness or inability to adequately deal with these issues and exercise control over the planning system is beginning to overwhelm them as the number of incidents increase and the scale of the problem grows.

We fear that the Borough is becoming known as exercising poor control and, a target of opportunity for inappropriate development by the Gypsy & Traveller community and we deplore this unnecessary situation.

There has long been a reliance on ad-hoc planning applications to achieve Gypsy & Traveller pitch provision. This strategy risks resulting in temporary permissions being granted on appeal leaving people with no long term security or, compromises being made which may not otherwise be seen as acceptable based on the grounds of a lack of pitch supply. There is a suggestion that decisions are being influenced by the prospect of legal costs being incurred in order to defend Kettering Borough Council’s decisions at appeal.

The lack of planned and controlled pitch provision has contributed to the deterioration of existing privately owned sites which have been allowed to become intensified at the expense of adequate amenities leading to a marked reduction in the standard of living conditions for residents. Planning conditions which were designed to address this have gone unfulfilled with no enforcement action taken.

It is the view of Broughton Parish Council that this situation is both unacceptable and unsustainable. We call on Kettering Borough Council to take urgent action to adequately resource officers and robustly use all legal options available to deal in a prompt and effective manner with already existing and future incidents of unauthorised development or failure to comply with planning conditions.

Illicit activity must not be rewarded with success because of inaction or unwillingness on the part of the Local Authority to tackle difficult issues.

We also call on Kettering Borough Council to regain control of the Gypsy & Traveller pitch provision strategy by urgently introducing robust, fair and transparent policies with a view to achieving a preferred and sustainable standard for design and optimum scale which will protect the rights of both the settled community and those of Gypsy heritage.

Broughton Parish Council

End

Issued 21st October 2019

Contact Information

Clerk to Broughton Parish Council

Find Broughton Parish Council

Meetings held @ Broughton Village Hall, Mile End Lane, Broughton, Broughton, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN14 1ND

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Additional Information

Broughton Parish Council meetings take place at Broughton Village Hall, Gate Lane, Broughton, Kettering Northamptonshire NN14 1ND