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How to appeal an enforcement notice

An enforcement notice is usually served by the local authority when it is believed that development has occurred unlawfully and often this is because such development has been carried out without formal planning permission. Once an enforcement notice is received it is imperative that you seek professional advice and guidance to deal with the same, because there are strict time limits within which to appeal. Failure to do so will entail that an appeal cannot be lodged out of time and thereafter you will be subject to the conditions of the notice.

Grounds of appeal of an Enforcement Notice

An appeal against an enforcement notice can be made on seven different grounds but for most cases appeals are usually lodged upon the basis that planning permission should be granted, the alleged breach has not occurred or that the local authority is out of time to serve an enforcement notice. In this respect it pays to seek out a professional advisor at an early stage and we at Archstone Solicitors are highly experienced and specialists in this field of work.

The grounds of appeal are as follows:

Ground (A) – That planning permission ought to be granted for the development or in the case of a planning condition, such condition should be removed from the permission. For most cases it will be very important to appeal on this ground.

Ground (B) – That the breach of planning control alleged in the enforcement notice has not occurred.

Ground (C) – That the alleged breach of planning control does not in fact require planning permission.

Ground (D) – That it is too late for the local authority to serve an enforcement notice. This said Ground is a good tool to utilize in cases where there is sufficient evidence to argue that the alleged breach of planning control occurred in excess of 4 years ago in respect to a single dwelling and 10 years ago for other breaches.

Ground (E) – The enforcement notice was not served correctly.

Ground (F) – That the steps required for compliance with the enforcement notice are excessive

Ground (G) – That the period for compliance with the enforcement notice is too short. Sometimes we find that local authorities are over zealous in respect to time scales for compliance being unrealistic and this can be a useful tool to give some breathing space to consider alternative schemes in the event of an unsuccessful appeal.

What is a planning enforcement notice

A planning enforcement notice is a legal document served by the local authority and should be taken seriously upon receipt. Briefly, the notice will set out within the notice the reason why it has been served, the reason why it is believed that a breach of planning control has occurred, the steps required to bring the alleged unlawful development back into compliance and the time scale within which it is sought. An appeal needs to be lodged within the strict time limit if the notice is not to take effect.

Why is a planning enforcement notice served

A planning enforcement notice is usually served for the following reasons:

  1. A house holder or owners of the property have not been granted planning permission for building works or other developments that specifically requires planning permission.
  2. A householder or owner of the property has not carried out development works in accordance with the formal planning permission granted by the local authority.
  3. A householder or building owner has failed to adhere to any planning conditions attached to the grant of planning permission.

Alternatives to enforcement notice

Stop Notices

If a Stop Notice is served by the local authority, this will require any alleged unlawful development to cease. Such a notice will set out why the local authority believe it is necessary to serve a stop notice. If such a notice is received it is important that professional guidance and advice is sought at an early stage so it is clear what works can actually be undertaken and what cannot.

Planning Contravention Notices

A planning contravention notice is usually served by the local authority when it is believed that a breach of planning has occurred however more information is required before a formal position is adopted by the local authority. Such notices will contain a list of questions which need to be responded within a certain time limit. Careful consideration needs to be given when providing such responses so as to minimize of the chances of the local authority taking any further enforcement action.

Breach of Condition Notices

When planning permission is granted, this will usually be with conditions. If such conditions are not adhered to or breached then a breach of condition notice can be served by the local authority. However, unlike an enforcement notice there is no right of appeal against a breach of condition notice, and the only remedy is an application for Judicial Review, which can be both costly and lengthy.

We are experts in the area of Planning Law and dealing with Local Authorities and for further advice and guidance in respect to your particular issue, contact us and your appointed solicitor will be able to provide bespoke assistance.

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