What should you do if you receive
a planning enforcement notice? 

Planning enforcement is one of the most controversial areas of town and country planning law. Fortune Green Legal Practice, working alone or alongside other experts, has helped clients served with enforcement notices to appeal successfully to the Planning Inspectorate. We can also use our insight into local authority working practices to help to negotiate successfully and resolve long-standing and difficult planning enforcement cases.  

As specialist planning solicitors based in central London, we have helped clients all around England to deal with enforcement notices.  

How do you appeal against
a planning enforcement notice? 

The enforcement notice must make clear  

  • what the local authority has identified as being a breach of planning control 
  • how long the breach has persisted 
  • what steps you must take to remedy the breach 
  • what period of time is allowed for the steps to be taken. 

In addition, the notice will specify a date when it comes into effect (“the effective date”).  

It is very important to take professional advice immediately, because you can only appeal against the notice before the effective date. The appeal is to the Planning Inspectorate. The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 describes the different grounds of appeal, and you can appeal on more than one.  

Don’t forget that making an appeal will “stop the clock,” which means that the notice will not come into effect until the appeal is resolved. 

What can you do if the planning
enforcement notice has taken effect? 

If it is too late to appeal, or an appeal has been unsuccessful, you should still get advice from a planning solicitor or other professional – perhaps now more than ever. This is because the local planning authority may start a prosecution at any time after the enforcement notice has taken effect. This can result in a criminal conviction as well as an unlimited fine. Having experienced legal representation can help with the stress of court proceedings, and can help reduce the fine by explaining to the court all the mitigating factors.  

In some cases, it may even be possible at this stage to negotiate with the local planning authority, for example, by regularising the situation with a retrospective planning application. This will help you to avoid a prosecution altogether.  

If you have any questions about planning enforcement notices, contact Fortune Green Legal Practice for advice.