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Commercial Planning Enforcement

The main types of notices are detailed below and we are aware of the recent changes to the enforcement regime as a result of the Localism Act, with particular reference to retrospective planning permission and concealed breaches of planning.

Enforcement Notice - This is the most common notice and you have a right to appeal it under planning and legal grounds. Our planning team can assist you with this as often you will require the services of a planning consultant and a planning solicitor in combination. If you receive an Enforcement Notice you are advised to contact us immediately as often you will only have 28 days before it becomes effective and after that date you will be unable to appeal. We are able to assess whether there are any technical faults with the issuing of the Notice and we can advise which grounds of appeal should be lodged.

Stop Notice - There are no rights of appeal against a Stop Notice and Local Planning Authorities should only issue one if they feel there is an unauthorised development which requires urgent action. There are strict compliance procedures and fines for non-compliance can rise to £20,000 for each instance.

Breach of Condition Notice - There is no right of appeal against this notice either but there are options open to remedy the situation which can include the submission of a planning application to vary or remove a condition.

Planning Contravention Notice - This usually takes the form of a questionnaire and is a pre-cursor to further enforcement action. You should respond to such a notice promptly and consider each question carefully before responding as this could be used in evidence against you further down the line.

Section 215 Notice - Also known as an untidy site notice. The Local Planning Authority should warn you that they are considering issuing such a notice and you will have the opportunity to remedy the situation and agree a timescale for doing so.

Injunction - Expediency is a watchword in Local Planning Authority planning and if there is no other avenue open then they will consider issuing injunctive action if the unauthorised development is a severe breach. If you receive such action our planning solicitors are able to guide you through the process and represent you in Court if required.

In a large number of cases Enforcement Officers will contact you informally to make you aware that they are investigating a potential breach of planning and may well issue you with a Planning Contravention Notice. At this stage you are advised to contact us and we can assess what options are open to you. In some cases all it takes is a negotiation with the Enforcement Officer or the submission of a planning application to regularise the situation and acting quickly can prevent the matter escalating out of hand.

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Meet the team

Neil Andrews

Partner, Head of Commercial Department and Business Property Law

Charlotte Lilley

Associate Solicitor

Patrick Herklots