In some instances, property owners carry out development without gaining permission first. If the local planning authority (LPA) becomes aware of this they may ask you to submit a retrospective application.
However, if the LPA decides that the work carried out is in breach of planning control, they may deem it necessary to take enforcement action. It will often depend on the nature of development and the impact on the surrounding neighbours.
When making an enforcement appeal it is important to distinguish which of the two types you are dealing with. These are either works related to listed buildings/conservation area property or those which deal more generally with development that does not fall under these stricter controls. The process is largely the same but there is a bureaucratic distinction made resulting in a difference in paperwork.
An enforcement notice will set out the action required to restore the breach of planning control. The LPA will always provide a date by which action must be taken. This could mean you may have to cease operating a specific activity or demolish part or all of a building. In other cases, you may be liable for enforcement action due to breaching a condition imposed when planning approval was gained. This could also lead to you needing to carry out work so the development falls in line with the condition attached.
Whilst there is a right to appeal an enforcement notice, should it become effective it is a serious offence not to comply. Councils have the ability to prosecute individuals that do not observe the order. This can result in heavy fines and major disruption to businesses or worse. It is always advisable to consult with your LPA before carrying out development to avoid finding yourself dealing with enforcement proceedings.
Please bear in mind that there is no right of appeal against a breach of condition notice, you will be liable for prosecution if you fail to comply with it.
Enforcement appeals have a strict time limit in which you can act. You must successfully lodge an appeal before the date that the notice takes effect. This date will be written on the enforcement notice and will normally be at least 28 days from the date the notice was served. Do not wait until the end of this period to act, because complications can sometimes arise during submission which result in delays, this could cause you to lose out on your right to appeal.
Enforcement appeals are submitted online via the planning casework service and are reviewed independently by the Planning Inspectorate. If you have been issued an enforcement notice and require further information please get in touch as soon as possible.