The plans, which come into force on 22 June, will include visits from the council in conjunction with the South East Centre for the Built Environment (SECBE) to local development sites to ensure that they are complying with the SWMP. The visits will come on top of current requirements for contractors to file SWMPs along with planning applications and an Environment Agency pilot programme of site visits in the South East.
SECBE operations manager Julian Carter told MRW: “Generally, one of the issues as to why the industry isn’t doing SWMP is because there has been no enforcement either from Local Authorities or the Environment Agency. The nature of humans is that if people aren’t enforcing it and they can’t see the value in it, then they won’t do it.
“So we’re trying to address that issue. Brighton is a leading example because it has integrated the need and requirement into its existing processes.”
While there has been no formal word from Brighton council on punitive measures if SWMP are not followed, a council produced leaflet warns: “If a person obstructs, fails to assist in complying with the regulations or fails to produce a SWMP then the client or principle contractor are liable to a fixed penalty fine of £300 and larger if convicted in court.”
A council spokesperson told MRW: “It is a legal obligation for construction companies to comply with SWMP legislation and to have the plan available for inspection onsite.”
Before the visits begin, SECBE and Brighton council will be running free training sessions to prepare construction companies for the new inspections.
Carter said that the role of the sessions will “make sure that they understand what the legislation asks of them and make sure they can actually complete a SWMP. It’s to give them some additional help and advice before the authority starts doing visits.”
The next training session will run on 10 May in Hove town hall.
Carter believes the SECBE sessions have already helped around 600 construction firms and local authorities across the country to better understand the SWMP.