Planning enforcement can be taken by a Local Authority where there has been a breach in planning control. This may include situations where building work or a change of use has been carried out without planning permission, where development does not comply with conditions attached to a planning permission or has not been built in accordance with approved plans, or where a development exceeds the limitations of what would be permitted development.
There are a range of enforcement powers available to Local Authorities depending on the extent of the breach. If the breach is minor, it may be possible to address it by submitting an application for a minor amendment to an existing planning consent, a retrospective planning application, or via the submission of a Lawful Development Certificate to confirm that an existing use or development is lawful and therefore immune from enforcement action. However, for more serious or complex breaches, the Council may serve an Enforcement Notice, Breach of Condition Notice or Stop Notice.
The correct planning strategy will depend upon the actions already taken by the Council and it is important to act swiftly if the Council have started to take enforcement action. If an Enforcement Notice has been served it is possible to appeal to the Secretary of State, however there are strict time periods for compliance and our experienced team can help identify the appropriate route and guide you through the process.
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