Breaches and Enforcement

The Estate Management team (in conjunction with the Head of Planning) have delegated authority to take action against breaches and to initiate arbitration.

Estate Management officers will consider adding a charge to the title where properties have breached the Scheme but have not rectified that breach.

As per the current arrangement described in the EMS Green Booklet, where a breach to a freehold property cannot be resolved through negotiation, an arbitrator will be appointed by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to consider the breach. It is stated that whoever loses the arbitration must pay the costs of both parties and the arbitrator’s fee. This is in the order of £3,000 per case. The Estate Management team will consider the merits of taking early arbitration action against a variety of breaches (hardstanding, hedge removal, etc) to get better understand of how RICS are likely to judge such breaches. Success will offer reassurance that the Council can continue to take arbitration. Failure will indicate that arbitration is unlikely to be successful, and by virtue that the policy/guidance needs to be amended.

There will be no time limit for Estate Management officers to attempt to deal with breaches of the Scheme. This means that officers can seek to resolve even very historic breaches in order to maintain and improve the distinctiveness of the Garden City.

It is anticipated that Estate Management officers will be out-and-about visiting properties to provide pre-application advice and to determine applications. As part of site visits they will also be able to monitor the area more generally and identify whether any new breaches have occurred. This will mean they can be pro-active to speak to property owners/tenants where a breach has occurred, is occurring or looks like it is about to occur, to remind them of the Estate Management Scheme rules and the need for apply for consent and secure consent before carrying out any works.

Page updated: 20/05/2019

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