Local residents are being reminded to make sure they get the right planning permission for their development before starting work.

The advice is being given following recent enforcement action which needed to be taken by North Devon Council on the owner of a building in a village within the Authority’s area. The building had planning permission for use as an agricultural plant store and garage but was being used as the owner’s home.

An enforcement notice was issued stating the first floor, internal fixtures and fittings relating to the use as a dwelling and an external staircase needed to be removed. A additional building on the site also had to be removed because the owners didn’t have any planning permission for it.

The Leader of North Devon Council said “The planning process provides the opportunity for applications to discuss their plans with our officers before starting work. This case highlights the financial cost that can be experienced and the loss of a building when someone decides to do something without the correct permissions.

It’s the Council’s job to make sure development is carried out in appropriate locations across the district. Unrestricted residential development outside the development boundary such as this goes against policy strictly controlling development within the open countryside. When unauthorised development is brought to our attention and it is in the public interest we will take appropriate enforcement action”.

North Devon Council offers a pre-application advice service providing anybody considering development within the North Devon district with the opportunity to discuss their plans with a planning officer before submitting a planning application. Information about the service is available on the planning pages of the Council website. Information about planning enforcement including how to report a concern, the enforcement process in North Devon and notices issued, is also available on the website.

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