Planning Enforcement

Planning Enforcement Notices are issued to control breaches of planning control.

What is Planning Enforcement?

Planning Enforcement is undertaken if there is an identified breach of planning control that has occurred with a view to resolving any issues in an appropriate manner. There are many examples, including where works have not been completed in accordance with or are not in compliance with a specific planning condition or where there is no planning permission for the relevant development.

Planning Enforcement Notices

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Planning Enforcement Notices

Local Planning Authorities will serve a Planning Enforcement Notice if they believe works have taken place without securing or complying with the necessary permission.  Prior to any formal planning enforcement notice being served, the Council would likely investigate any allegations of planning breaches, including visiting relevant premises, contacting landowners and suggesting that a retrospective planning application is submitted to regularise any potential breach.

The power to issue and serve an Enforcement Notice is discretionary, the Council is not required to take action because there has been a breach of planning control. Firstly, when deciding whether to take enforcement action, the Council must decide whether it is expedient to do so, and the key test is whether there is harm and the breach of planning control would unacceptably affect public amenity.

A Planning Enforcement Notice should only be issued where the Local Planning Authority is satisfied that it appears to them that there has been a breach of planning control and it is expedient to issue an Enforcement Notice, taking into account the provisions of the development plan and any other material considerations. There are certain things an Enforcement Notice needs to outline and Plande can ensure the procedural and legislative requirements of the notice are appropriate and that it has been served correctly, we can advise you on the necessary next steps.

It is important to note that in certain situations, different types of development become immune from enforcement if no action is taken and Plande can help you explore your options.


What is a breach of planning control?

Identified by law, a breach of planning control is defined as ‘The carrying out of development without the required planning permission or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted’. In addition to this, any contravention of the limitations on, or conditions belonging to permitted development rights under the relevant Acts of Parliament (for example the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015) constitutes a breach of planning control which enforcement action may be taken against.


Failure to comply with an Enforcement Notice.

A Local Planning Authority can prosecute for a failure to comply with an Enforcement Notice and it is an offence not to comply with a Notice of Enforcement, a person guilty of an offence is liable, on summary of conviction, of up to an unlimited fine. In determining the amount of any fine, the Court could consider any financial benefits which have been accrued or appear likely to accrue as a consequence of the offence and unlawful development. However, Enforcement Notices can be appealed and there are certain timeframes the appeal for the Enforcement Notice must be submitted before, Plande can help you with this process.


What is "under enforcement"

In some cases, a Local Planning Authority may decide not to require action to be taken to remedy the whole of a breach of planning control, this is known as ‘under enforcement’ and where a Planning Enforcement Notice identified a breach of planning control which could have required an activity to stop, or any buildings or works to be removed, but has stipulated some lesser requirements, and all the requirements of the notice have been complied with, the planning permission is deemed to be granted for those remaining operations or use. Enforcement Notices are entered into the Local Planning Authority register of Enforcement Notices, stop notices and breach of condition notices and Plande can help you work with the Local Planning Authority and advise of your next steps to remedy a breach of planning control.


Get help with Planning Enforcement Notices

Discuss your enforcement issues with specialists

As experienced planning consultants, Plande can provide you with expert help and knowledge with Planning Enforcement Notices. We can quickly review and assist in the validity of an Enforcement Notice, advise in respect of any non-compliance with a notice of enforcement, assess the options before appealing such a notice, represent you in appealing an Enforcement Notice at a hearing or inquiry, submitting for retrospective planning permission as well as negotiating with the Local Planning Authority on your behalf. Contact the experts today to discuss your Planning Enforcement Notice issues.


Disclaimer: This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon. The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ. Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out. All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Read the full disclaimer here.

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