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If a councillor receives a report about suspected over development at a private property what is the procedure?

0 votes
Is it acceptable or legal to take photographs of the site in question without permission or even notifying the persons being reported?

Also when asked what they were doing and who they were, shouldn’t a councillor answer honestly?

Thank you.
asked by (120 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
Any member of the public is free to take photo / video images from a public place - even if the images are 'into' privately owned property.
Any member of the public is free to report a 'concern' to (in this case probably) planning enforcement.  It is for planning enforcement to decide if and what action is appropriate or necessary.

An individual parish councillor shouldn't act on behalf of the PC, but don't forget, they are also private individuals with all of the liberties of a private individual.

They can't act unilaterally 'on behalf' of the council but they can act unilaterally as a private individual.

There are plenty of online references to public photography - most police forces even publish guidance.
answered by (4.9k points)
0 votes
The responsibility to gather evidence lies with the planning officer, so there is no need to get involved. If the council believes that planning law has been breached, either accidentally or intentionally, the clerk should notify the planning authority.
answered by (32.8k points)
0 votes
What is the procedure?

Either:

1 - a councillor receives a report of suspected breach of planning law:  they may bring it to the attention of the council for discussion at the next meeting and, if resolved, the council might forward details to planning enforcement at local authority. (consider the potential time lag)

2 - a councillor receives a report of suspected breach of planning law: They may pass details to the clerk for a council correspondence with planning enforcement at local authority.

3 - a councillor receives a report of suspected breach of planning law: they may submit details direct to planning enforcement at local authority so long as they are acting as a private individual and not setting out to represent them self as "the council."

If they have "received a report" as a councillor the option of not getting involved would be a dereliction of duty.
answered by (4.9k points)

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