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North York Moors National Park Authority (17 007 580)

Category : Planning > Enforcement

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 08 Oct 2018

Summary

Mr and Mrs C complain the Authority wrongly charged them for costs associated with enforcement action when the law does not allow it to do so.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found found causing injustice.

Recommendations

The Authority must consider the report and confirm within three months the action it has taken or proposes to take. The Authority’s Members should consider the report at a full meeting of the Authority or other appropriately delegated committee, and we will require evidence of this. (Local Government Act 1974, section 31(2), as amended).

The Authority has suspended the policy, cancelled the charges made under the policy and issued a refund to those who have paid. Within 4 weeks of our decision the Authority should apologise to Mr and Mrs C for not properly considering the basis of the charge it sought to make and for not explaining the basis for that charge.

Should the Authority seek to reintroduce the policy of charging for enforcement action it should ensure it properly considers the basis for making a charge and that Members responsible for making the decision are made aware of all relevant information including the full extent of any legal advice.

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