How we issue enforcement notices

If we decide to take enforcement action at the end of our investigation this means that we are confident that the breach of planning control is unacceptable and is causing harm.

We can take the following types of enforcement action

  • enforcement notices
  • breach of condition notices
  • stop notices
  • High Court injunctions
  • Section 215 notices
  • prosecutions.

The most common types of enforcement action are enforcement notices and breach of condition notices.

Once the enforcement action has been agreed at delegated or committee level, we will serve an enforcement notice on all interested parties.

These details are normally obtained by a Land Registry search and/or a questionnaire.

The enforcement notice will detail the breach of planning control, what action needs to be taken to remedy the breach and how long the owners have to remedy the breach (known as the ‘period of compliance’).

Owners have a legal right to appeal against the enforcement notice (in the same way they are allowed to appeal against refusals of planning applications).

Planning appeals

If a valid appeal is made against an enforcement notice (or planning application) we cannot ask the owner to comply with the notice until the appeal is decided.

If no appeal is made, the case officer will make a site inspection after the period of compliance to check if the breach has been remedied.

Failure to comply with the requirements of an enforcement notice within the given time limit is a criminal offence and we will seek prosecution of offenders.

An enforcement notice will appear as a charge on the Land Charges Register.

This would be revealed during a Land Charges Search, so that anyone wishing to purchase the property or lease is aware of the outstanding notice and the requirements necessary to comply with it.

An enforcement notice lies with the land and therefore anyone who purchases the property, or an interest in it, then becomes liable (where appropriate) for non-compliance with that notice.

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