Last edited 11 Nov 2020

Enforcement notice

An enforcement notice is a legal document that can be issued when there has been a breach of planning control. Such a breach is defined in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as development carried out without the proper planning permission, or failure to comply with a condition or limitation on permitted development rights.

A planning authority may issue an enforcement notice when it is satisfied that there has been a breach. The notice should detail the following:

The issuing of an enforcement notice is followed by a period for compliance during which the recipient must either comply with the notice or lodge an appeal.

It is an offence not to comply with a notice once the compliance period has expired. Where a conviction for failure to comply with a notice is successful, planning authorities can apply for Confiscation Orders to recover any financial benefit obtained through the development which was unauthorised.

The authority also has the power to enter land to carry out the notice requirements themselves if other steps have proven unsuccessful in getting the land owner or occupier to carry out the notice requirements. It is an offence to obstruct anyone exercising such powers.

NB An enforcement notice may also be issued by the local building control department if a development fails to comply with the building regulations, requiring rectification of the works.

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