Beefing up team that tackles untidy land and buildings

The picture shows the team Chris Cummings, Manager Chris Watson, Councillor Nicholson with Jo Maddick in front and Ben Willcox.

Plymouth City Council is expanding its planning compliance team in response to calls from residents and councillors to look at planning issues that affect where people live.

A new compliance officer, Josephine Maddick has joined the team as part of the Council’s commitment to protect Plymouth’s unique environment and take swift action against unauthorised planning developments, as well as inappropriate sign-boards and untidy land and buildings.

The team investigate between 350 and 400 suspected unauthorised developments a year and are also involved in proactive initiatives designed to get landlords to improve the state of their buildings.

They have recently issued untidy land notices on the Anglia building on Derry’s Cross in the city centre and the Stonemasons Arms in Devonport Road to get the landowners to clean up their act.

Significant progress has been made on a number of properties that were served untidy land notices over the last year. A planning application is currently in the system to turn Wyndham Hall in Wyndham Street East into a residential development after the property was sold.

The Pot Black building in Devonport is also undergoing a transformation with a planning application for a residential-led development with some commercial use on the ground floor.

Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Housing and Transport, said: “I am pleased to announce that the City Council is strengthening the Planning Enforcement Team and we will continue to tackle landowners whose properties let down their neighbourhood.  People feel very strongly about the owners of buildings or developments – no matter what size or value – who are not following the rules laid out for everyone.

“We are getting results. The legal notices are prompting landlords into action and in the case of the Pot Black and Wyndham Hall, have led to properties being sold and to being turned into much needed housing for Plymouth.”

To report significantly untidy land or buildings, email or phone 01752 304366