Planning Enforcement Funding

Mole Valley District Council has been successful in its application for a £50,000 grant to help tackle unauthorised development in the green belt.

Councillor Margaret Cooksey, Cabinet Member for Planning, said "We are delighted to be in receipt of this grant, the highest amount available to us. This comes after rightfully being recognised as one of 40 local authorities in the country identified by the Government to be blessed with extensive areas of designated green belt.

"It is absolutely right that local authorities with high levels of designated green belt are offered support in this way, as we continue to battle unauthorised development; the scourge of the green belt. We are committed to protecting our precious green belt land, which can be a very tempting target for unauthorised development in our beautiful district.

"Undertaking planning enforcement brings with it a considerable amount of time, effort and cost to us, straining our resources. A typical enforcement case involves investigating the unauthorised development, agency liaison, taking action, fighting an appeal where necessary and bringing prosecutions. The £50,000 will enable us to improve officers' prosecution skills and experience, in addition to establishing better processes with regards to how we carry out investigations, in both the short and long-term."

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