If you have been served with an Enforcement Notice (EN) by your Local Planning Authority (LPA) you will have the option to appeal against it. However, you will need to carefully consider if you have sufficient grounds for appeal and what the most appropriate course of action should be. Benson Planning Studio is able to provide professional advice to help you decide on the most appropriate course of action to achieve the best outcome possible.
Reasons for serving an Enforcement Notice
Typically, LPA’s will serve EN’s if you have gone ahead without securing planning permission and the council considers that the development involves a breach of planning control. This will depend on the scale, design and location of the development and its impact on neighbours and the character of the area.
In this instance, The LPA will often request that you apply for retrospective planning permission to make the proposal lawful in planning terms.
Should you appeal?
We would advise that you speak to us before deciding how to proceed. We can offer you a free initial consultation and the benefit of qualified professional planning advice.In most cases, we would always try and negotiate with the LPA to achieve an acceptable solution for both parties. However, if this is not possible and we feel that you have sufficient grounds against which to appeal, we are able to prepare and submit a planning enforcement appeal to the Planning Inspectorate on your behalf.
All Enforcement Appeals must be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate before the date the enforcement notice takes effect. This date will be stated on the Enforcement Notice.
Types of Enforcement Appeal:
As with the normal appeal procedure, an Enforcement Appeal can be made in the following ways:
Informal Hearing; and
The most basic and, often quickest, form is via a written representation. This involves both parties submitting written statements. An Informal Hearing allows the appellant & LPA the chance to address the Planning Inspector and is usually held within a Council meeting room. Public Inquiries are more often reserved for larger and more complicated cases where expert witness or professional legal representation is required and permits both parties the chance to cross examine one another.
Claims of cost can also be made in all of the above types of appeal should the appellant feel that they have incurred unnecessary expenses in dealing with the proceedings due to the unreasonable behaviour of the LPA.
What does it cost?
If your enforcement appeal is made on the grounds that planning permission should be granted this will include an application for planning permission. This typically costs double the amount paid for a normal planning application. The fee is split between the LPA and DCLG. No fee is payable for the appeal itself.
How long does it take?
There is no statutory time frame for determining Enforcement Appeals and this can vary from 3 months to over a year depending on the complexity of the case and type of appeal sought.
However, the following timescales are important:
Within 2 weeks of the start date the LPA will send us and The Planning Inspectorate a questionnaire which they have filled in. They will also inform interested people (i.e. third party objectors) about the appeal by the same date.
Within 6 weeks of the start date we and the LPA must send a statement of your case to The Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate will send us and the LPA a copy of what the other has sent and any comments from interested people (if they have received them in time).
Within 9 weeks of the start date we and the LPA must send The Planning Inspectorate any comments on each other’s statement and comments from interested people.
If your appeal is being dealt with at an Informal Hearing or Inquiry the above stages may differ.
Withdrawing an Enforcement Appeal
If it has been possible to reach agreement with the LPA, it is possible to withdraw your appeal at any time.
There is no right of appeal against a Breach of Condition Notice
Unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence
The unauthorised display of advertisements is an offence liable to prosecution.
If you are served with a Section 215 Notice then you would appeal via the Magistrates Court