Like everyone involved with the current administration I entirely approve of its policy of enforcing against unlawful development.
However, as I argued here last month an unwritten policy recently revealed by the alleged MP for Feltham & Heston, Mr. Alan Keen, may have misled some residents within certain sections of the community into believing that they did not require the benefit of planning permission for their extensions and conversions as the then New Labour administration would turn a blind eye to their activities in exchange for their votes.
As a result of this, so I argued, there may sometimes be a case for taking a sympathetic view on an individual basis.
I have just successfully prevented an enforcement in one such case, where the individual concerned - himself formerly an influential Labour Party supporter in the Cranford area - had constructed an extension under the old régime without following the conventional procedures which involve applying for permission. After intensive representations from the applicant, myself and leading Cranford community activists, officers confirmed that "on the balance of probabilities the extention is likely to be immune from enforcement action".
No doubt there will be more instances of councillors and community leaders having to sort out the mess which is New Labour's legacy in the west of the borough.