Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: The George Hudson Board Room - 1st Floor West Offices (F045). View directions

Contact: Margo Budreviciute  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


Declarations of Interest (10:01) pdf icon PDF 222 KB

At this point in the meeting, the Executive Member is asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest, or other registerable interest, they might have in respect of business on this agenda, if they have not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests. The disclosure must include the nature of the interest.


An interest must also be disclosed in the meeting when it becomes apparent to the member during the meeting.


[Please see attached sheet for further guidance for Members].



The Executive Member was asked to declare, at this point in the meeting, any disclosable pecuniary interests, or other registerable interests he might have in the respect of business on the agenda, if he had not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests. The Executive Member stated that as a ward Councillor, he had previously raised some of the cases listed in agenda item 4.


Minutes (10:02) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the last Decision Session - Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods held on 16 March 2023.



Resolved: That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 16 March 2023 be approved and then signed as a correct record by the Executive Member.


Public Participation (10:02)

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered to speak can do so. Members of the public may speak on agenda items or on matters within the remit of the committee.


Please note that our registration deadlines have changed to 2 working days before the meeting, in order to facilitate the management of public participation at remote meetings. The deadline for registering at this meeting is 5:00 pm on Monday, 17 July 2023.


To register to speak please visit to fill out an online registration form.  If you have any questions about the registration form or the meeting, please contact the relevant Democracy Officer, on the details at the foot of the agenda.


Webcasting of Remote Public Meetings


Please note that, subject to available resources, this remote public meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The remote public meeting can be viewed live and on demand at


During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates ( for more information on meetings and decisions.



It was reported that there had been two registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Councillor Dave Merrett spoke on agenda item 4 - Planning Enforcement Cases Update. He spoke on the increased number of short-term holiday lets and houses in multiple occupation in the Guildhall ward and their negative impacts, such as housing affordability. He requested that Officers look at both of those issues holistically and commented on the need for further resources to tackle them.


Councillor Mark Warters also spoke on agenda item 4 and requested that enforcement cases be reported to the ward Councillors or to the planning committee. He then criticised the Council’s discretionary enforcement powers and their approach to unlawful houses in multiple occupations. He concluded by requesting an update on the progress of the December 2021 full Council motion to reduce the number of houses in multiple occupations.


Planning Enforcement Cases Update (10:14) pdf icon PDF 616 KB

The purpose of this report is to provide the Executive Member with an update on planning enforcement cases and the progress of work within the enforcement team.

Additional documents:



i.             That the contents of the report be noted.

Reason: To ensure that the Executive Member is aware of the work currently being undertaken in Planning Enforcement.


The Executive Member considered a report which provided an update on planning enforcement cases and the progress of the work within the enforcement team.


The Principal Development Management Officer presented the report and provided a summary of the complexity of the work of the enforcement team and explained that breaches of planning control were dealt with in order of priority and that enforcement action should only be taken where the Council was satisfied it was ‘expedient’ to do so. He also stated that the enforcement team had a number of ways of enforcing planning breaches and noted that:

  • Between 31 May 2022 and 1 June 2023, the Council received 984 new planning enforcement investigations and 7 Enforcement Notices were served. 
  • 679 cases were closed and a total of 722 investigations remained open. 

The Officer concluded by explaining that the key challenge for the enforcement team over the next 12 months would be the investigation of the considerable number of House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) cases due to changes in licensing requirements. He then noted that 574 HMO investigations had been opened and 150 had been closed.


In response to questions from the Executive Member, the Head of Planning and Development Services and the Principal Development Management Officer explained that:

·        The enforcement team follows up on any unlawful HMOs after a reasonable time to ensure compliance and could serve notices thereafter.

·        A new system alerting complainants every three months on the progress of an enforcement case was recently introduced by the Council.

·        Prosecutions of cases were rare as the team tried to avoid them and find a resolution instead.

·        Enforcement of short-term holiday lets was difficult due to a lack of legislation and planning guidance.

They concluded by explaining that the enforcement team was a reactive service and they needed members of the public to raise complaints so that they could be investigated.


The Executive Member and Officers then discussed the summary of enforcement notices served between 2018-23 as detailed in annex 1. The Executive Member then;



i.             That the contents of the report be noted.

Reason: To ensure that the Executive Member is aware of the work currently being undertaken in Planning Enforcement.


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