BRADFORD Council received over 1,100 enquiries about unauthorised developments in the District last year.

And a new report reveals that there is still a backlog of 1,651 outstanding enforcement cases.

At the next meeting of the Council’s Regulatory and Appeals Committee, which deals with the biggest planning applications to be submitted to the Authority, members will be given an annual update on the performance of the planning system.

Included in the report, which looks at the 2019/20 financial year, are details of planning enforcement work carried out by the Council.

In the period the Council received 1,115 enquiries about planning breaches.

The number of cases, which include cases from previous years, that were closed following investigation and negotiation with the people behind the breaches was 1,119. This includes incidents where people put the issue right after the threat of enforcement action.

In the 12 month period 108 enforcement notices were issued, and 26 prosecutions were carried out.

Enforcement notices are sent by the Council to people who break planning laws. They order them to demolish or put right the breach by a certain date, or face legal action.

Man 'buried head in sand' after being issued enforcement notice

One case that was taken to court in March was a home owner who had built an outbuilding at 41 Loxley Close, Eccleshill without planning permission.

An enforcement notice had been issued by the Council, with the home owner, Majid Hussain, repeatedly failing to pull down the building. He was taken to Magistrate’s Court, fined £120, ordered to pay £1,035 costs and to demolish the building, which was estimated to have cost £20,000 to build.

Last September Bradford Council successfully prosecuted Taz Uddin - who repeatedly refused to cooperate and comply with planning enforcement actions relating to dormer windows on a house, 20 Grange Grove, Riddlesden.

He was fined £4,000 and ordered to remove the dormers.

Homeowner ordered to pay £4,000 fine over planning breach

But the report also reveals there there are currently 1,651 outstanding planning enforcement cases on the Council’s books.

Despite the staggering number, this is still down from in 2018, when there were 1,827 outstanding enforcement cases.

Members were given a list of recent enforcement action at its last meeting, in October. At the meeting Councillor Mohammed Amran (Lab, Heaton) said: “How many of these actually get enforced or do they just get put on paper and never get looked at?

“What is the success rate?

“In my ward there are a number of enforcement cases that have gone on so long and still haven’t come to court. I get complaints that things are still the same and work hasn’t been done two or three years later.”

He was told that after an enforcement notice is issued and the threat of prosecution looms, rule breakers often carry out work to rectify the problem.

But Mark Hutchinson, an area planning manager said: “It can be a very long, drawn out process. A lot of applicants play the procedural game - they know the process inside out.”