West Lancashire Borough Council’s planning department have told Rosie Cooper MP that they do not do routine inspections of conservation areas to check for breaches in the regulations, but rather rely upon reports from residents.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has been contacted by residents of School Lane and Parliament Street, Up Holland regarding West Lancashire Borough Council’s Conservation regulations.
Previously in this area there was a property which had uPVC windows and doors fitted, the use of these materials breached the terms of a Conservation Area. Concerned residents reported this breach to West Lancashire Borough Council, yet it took 7 years for the windows and doors to be replaced when the property was sold and new owners were required to change them.
Residents were also concerned that it took them to report this breach for it to be acknowledged by the council. Rosie Cooper MP contacted the Director of Planning at West Lancashire Borough Council with regard to these issues. To which he responded that enforcement issues tend to be complex and involve a lengthy process and although it took a number of years West Lancashire Borough Council view this case as a positive result. He also confirmed that there are no routine inspections of any given area within the Borough, therefore local planning authorities including West Lancashire rely upon local residents to draw their attention to any breaches of planning control.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“It is disgraceful that the Council took such a long time to enforce their own rules in the Conservation Area even though they were alerted to the breach by residents.
“The Council need to ensure that checks are done especially in this area to ensure residents are complying with the regulations of living in a Conservation Area and take any necessary action if they are not.
“They should not be depending on residents to alert them; effectively the Borough Council are relying upon residents to do their job for them.”