What Are Enforcement Notices and How do they Work?

by JacobLittleDigirank on May 2, 2013

  • Sumo

Enforcement notices are issued for a variety of reasons in the UK – and for almost any scale of development from small domestic to large corporate schemes. As the name suggests, they are forceful actions taken upon an individual or company for anything ranging from breaches in planning permission to carrying out work without prior notification.

Enforcement notices aim to take the most appropriate course of action with regards to resolving disputes or breaches of legislation. They aim to control development – with an emphasis on maintaining a planning balance within the locality in question. As defined in the Town and Country Act 1990, a lack of planning control is defined as:

‘The carrying out of a development without the required planning permission, or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted’.

With a lack of planning control within a region, enforcement notices can be introduced for a number of reasons relating to change of use, unlawful development, unauthorised works to existing buildings or even the demolition of certain structures. By UK law, anyone can make a complaint about planning permission and raise an objection – however often it is required that those who submit an objection need to reveal their identities in order for the notice to be fully investigated.

Investigating an objection before issuing an enforcement notice is a complex process, however there are some simple things to remember when it comes to what is and what isn’t taken into consideration. Personal objections to individual characters are not accepted, and there are set and defined ideas as to how harmful certain planning applications are to the local community – what one person feels is not necessarily representative of community feeling…planning decisions will be made on the basis of how it affects the locality as a whole.

Once you have reported an objection to planning permission, it is likely that you’ll receive a confirmation of receipt from your local council. Within a certain time frame (usually within a month) the offending party will be asked to amend their development – either by filing retrospective planning permission or ceasing their unauthorised work.

If you are the one being authorised an enforcement notice, you will normally be given details of the breach, the reason for the complaint and what needs to be done to comply with the council’s request. You will also be given a time-frame in which to carry out the rules of the notice.

Although thousands of enforcement notices are issued by local councils in the UK every year, they are still seen a last resort if the offending party has not carried out preliminary requests from the authorities. KSLaw are a solicitors in Kent who deal with a variety of issues surrounding enforcement notices, and will be able to give you their expert and professional advice on your planning issue.




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