Last edited 27 Nov 2020

Temporary stop notice in planning

A temporary stop notice is an enforcement notice that can be issued by a planning authority if there is a breach of planning control, that is, where development is carried out without the proper planning permission, or where there is a failure to comply with a condition or limitation stipulated on permitted development rights.

It is an order for ‘relevant activity’ to cease on any part of the land to which the notice refers.

This power was introduced in 2004 by Section 171E of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

A temporary stop notice differs from a stop notice in that it does not need to be accompanied by, or follow, the issuing of an enforcement notice, instead, it can be issued on a stand-alone basis. The advantage of this is that it is faster, as the compliance period does not have to expire before the local authority can serve the notice, and so it is more effective where immediate action is necessary.

Issuing a temporary stop notice is at the discretion of the planning authority, on the basis that they believe there to be a breach for which it is ‘...expedient that the activity which amounts to the breach is stopped immediately.’ The requirements set out in the notice should prohibit only that which it is essential to prohibit in order to safeguard public safety or amenity in the neighbourhood, or to prevent serious harm being caused to the surrounding area’s environment.

A temporary stop notice is only valid for 28 days, after which, the local authority must take alternative of enforcement action if necessary.

Failure to comply with a stop notice can lead to prosecution and an unlimited fine.

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