LONDON CITY AIRPORT – MONITORING PLANNING CONTROLS
This page explains how operations at London City Airport are monitored through planning controls, the role of the Council’s Airport Monitoring Officer, what powers the Council has to control, how monitoring information is recorded and published, the procedures for making complaints, and how instances of non-compliance are addressed.
The Council and London City Airport work closely together to try to ensure that the economic advantages which arise from the operation of the Airport can be maximised, and any potential problems which may adversely affect the local population can be prevented or minimised.
One of the main means of dealing with potential or actual problems is through planning controls: Planning Conditions and S106 Agreements. Currently parts of two sets of planning controls are in force: those attached to the planning permission dated 9th July 2009 (reference 07/01510/VAR), and those attached to the planning permission dated 26th July 2016 (reference 13/01228/FUL). The later set will eventually fully replace the earlier one.
The controls cover a wide range of issues, including in particular noise, but also air quality and biodiversity, and set targets for the employment of local residents.
Both sets of controls specify what is required of the Airport and when; a smaller number of controls apply to the Council.
Details of the permissions, including controls, can be found on the Council’s website:
The Role of the Airport Monitoring Officer (AMO)
Both permissions include a requirement for the employment of an AMO by the Council, to be funded through the S106 Agreements. The AMO post was created by the 2009 S106 Agreement to ensure that the Airport complies with the Planning Conditions and S106 Agreement.
The AMO is employed directly by Newham Council and is completely independent of the Airport Companies. The first AMO commenced employment with the Council in 2010.
The role of the AMO can be divided into, firstly, functions relating to enforcement should targets or standards not be met in any way, and secondly, functions relating to facilitation, whereby compliance with certain obligations – for example completion of strategies and Action Plans – by the Airport is done in a timely and effective manner.
A summary of activity related to planning controls is reported quarterly by the AMO elsewhere on the LCACC website:
Certain issues of compliance require written notification from the Airport to the Council, and formal acknowledgement and/or approval by the Council. The relevant documents are published on the Council’s website (see links given above), although this is for information as public consultation is not required on compliance matters.
Enforcement Powers of the Council
In the event of non-compliance with planning controls, the Council is able to use a range of statutory and non-statutory measures to take action.
1) S106 Agreement
The Council is empowered to enforce S106 Agreements under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Section 106.
2) Planning Conditions
The Council is empowered to enforce Planning Conditions under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Section 187A.
As recommended by the government’s National Planning Policy Framework, the Council adopted a Planning Enforcement Policy in March 2015.This is published on the Council’s website at:
This policy document outlines the manner in which the Council will undertake its planning enforcement functions and ensure effective enforcement within the borough.
The Council has also published a Planning Enforcement Direct Action Guide which supplements the information published in the Planning Enforcement Policy. This can be found on the Council’s website at:
The Guide explains under what circumstances, in the case of potentially more serious breaches of planning control, the Council will use its powers to take direct action against those breaches.
These documents cover Planning Conditions only, although the principles will apply to S106 Agreements as necessary.
The 2009 S106 Agreement requires (and the 2016 S106 Agreement will require) the Airport to publish a range of monitoring information at specified times and for it to be available in specific places. Of the published documents, the London City Airport Annual Performance Report (‘APR’) is the most comprehensive, covering all criteria that have required monitoring over the previous calendar year. The published version includes a written response to the APR from the Airport Monitoring Officer. The APRs are published on the websites of the Airport and the London City Airport Consultative Committee:
Although not a requirement of the 2009 S106 Agreement, the Council publishes its Annual Planning Obligations Report (made to the Strategic Development Committee) on its own website. The most recent one can be found here:
A complaint or enquiry relating to the Airport can be raised by any individual or organisation at any time. The most common means of doing this is directly with the Airport, as the vast majority of issues are not ones of compliance with planning controls. There is an Airport officer dedicated to receiving and responding to complaints and general enquiries. Information on the Airport’s Environment-related Complaints and Enquiries procedures can be found on the Airport’s website:
A smaller number of complaints are made directly to the Council, at officer or Member level; these may be referred to the Airport, depending on their nature.
The Airport Monitoring Officer records all complaints received directly by the Council.
The 2009 S106 Agreement requires the Airport Companies to record the complaints and enquiries that they receive and to send a summary list to the AMO every two weeks, with personal details relating to the complainants redacted. Any steps that have been taken to address the complaints and any further liaison with the complainant are also recorded. The AMO assesses the document, primarily in relation to possible instances of non-compliance, and responds to London City Airport as necessary. The number and type of complaints and enquiries received over the calendar year is published annually in London City Airport’s Annual Performance Report.
Complaints made relating to the Sound Insulation Scheme are recorded separately by London City Airport Limited. Although these are not published, they are available from London City Airport Limited on request.
Dealing With Non-compliance
The primary aim for both the Council and the Airport is to prevent non- compliance happening; to this end, the two parties monitor information closely to identify any potentially adverse trends in order that preventative measures can be put into place as soon as possible.
If an instance of non-compliance does occur, typically, but not in every case, the procedures below will apply. Most non-compliance issues are reported to the Council directly by the Airport, together with proposals for achieving compliance:
– report/complaint received/made by the Council
– assessment by the Council, based on adopted Planning Enforcement Policy
– if non-compliance issue, case opened and Airport formally notified; case published on Council website
– plan of action agreed with Airport to achieve compliance
– compliance achieved and case closed