One of the most common planning enforcement measures issued by local authorities is a Planning Enforcement Notice.
What is an Enforcement Notice?
Enforcement Notices are legal documents that require certain action be taken to remedy a breach of planning control. They are issued where development has taken place without the correct planning permission or outside the conditions of a planning permission.
What should I do if you receive an Enforcement Notice?
You must comply with the Enforcement Notice unless you can appeal against it in time. If you do not comply and do not appeal, there may be significant consequences.
Why have I been issued with an Enforcement Notice?
If you have received an enforcement notice, it is because your Local Planning Authority consider that you have carried out development on your land without planning permission.
This is known as a breach of planning control and may arise where you have either:
- carried out operations (such as building works) without obtaining planning permission.
- changed the use of a building or land without obtaining planning permission.
- breached a condition or limitation attached to your planning permission.
The enforcement notice will require you to remedy the breach of planning control within a set period of time e.g. 3 or 6 months. The steps that you must take to remedy the breach of planning control will be set out in the enforcement notice.
How do I appeal a notice of enforcement?
The enforcement notice does not take effect immediately. The Local Planning Authority must give you at least 28 days from the date the enforcement notice is issued to submit an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. If you intend to appeal, then it is very important that you submit your appeal within the timescale stated in the enforcement notice.
The enforcement notice will also include details of your right to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate and the grounds for appealing. If you are unsure as to whether you have any grounds to appeal against the enforcement notice or how to comply with it, then you should seek independent legal advice as soon as possible.
What happens if I ignore an Enforcement Notice?
If you do not submit an appeal before the enforcement notice takes effect, then you will need to comply with the requirements of the enforcement notice. If you fail to carry out the works required in the enforcement notice the Local Planning Authority could prosecute you.
In most cases, the Local Planning Authority will write to you first before serving an enforcement notice to discuss the breach of planning control.
If a Local Planning Authority contacts you about an alleged breach of planning control, it would be advisable to take steps to address this before formal enforcement action is taken. Such steps could involve providing evidence to the Local Planning Authority that there has been no breach of planning control, submitting a retrospective planning application or applying for a Certificate of Lawful Existing Use or Development. We would recommend that independent legal advice is sought before taking any such steps.