North Wiltshire District Council is set to blitz illegal building work using a £124,000 cash injection from a planning development grant.

Planning enforcement will have a new, high profile in a bid to stop unscrupulous developers flouting planning regulations and building without planning permission.

A new team, with a principal enforcement officer, a planning enforcement officer, two investigating officers and administrative support is ready to tackle a backlog of enforcement cases.

Coun Doreen Darby, lead member for planning at the district council, said: "The plans are in place and hopefully we will get rid of the backlog very quickly.

"We have every intention of reaching the people who are out to flout the law. I think some builders and developers might have thought we were a soft touch in the past but they will have to change their minds very rapidly."

A national shortage of enforcement officers led to a staff shortage at the district council.

But the district council's improved performance in the planning department resulted in the £124,000 award from the Government, which will be ploughed back into the planning department.

The council's planning business manager, Laurie Bell, said planning enforcement was now a priority for the department.

Coun Jane Scott is proposing a motion at a meeting of the district council next Wednesday calling for a team of experienced officers to ensure the immediate resolution of outstanding cases and a period of zero tolerance with regard to unlawful developments.