Types of formal enforcement action
The types of formal enforcement action that the Local Planning Authority can take are outlined below.
The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 defines taking formal enforcement action as the issue of an enforcement notice or the service of a breach of conditions notice. Failure to comply with either constitutes an offence.
There are also a number of supplementary powers granted to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) which allow other types of notice to be served. Failure to comply with these notices is also an offence.
If it is expedient to do so, an enforcement notice may be served where the Local Planning Authority (LPA) believes there has been a breach of planning control involving an unauthorised material change of use, operational development or breach of a condition. The enforcement notice will state the reasons for action being taken and specify the steps which the LPA require to be taken in order to remedy the breach. There is a right of appeal against an enforcement notice.
Breach of Condition Notices (BCN)
A Breach of Condition Notice (BCN) may be served where a condition attached to a planning permission is not being complied with. The BCN will specify the steps which the LPA require to be taken in order to secure compliance with the condition as is specified in the notice. There is no right of appeal against a BCN.
In certain cases, a Stop Notice can be served in order to cease an unauthorised activity on the land. A Stop Notice can only be served at the same time as, or after, the service of an enforcement notice. There is no right of appeal against a stop notice, only the enforcement notice to which it is attached. The LPA will be at risk of compensation if it is used in inappropriate cases.
Temporary Stop Notices (TSN)
In certain cases, a TSN can be served before an enforcement notice has been served in order to cease an unauthorised activity on the land. These notices remain in effect only for a maximum of 28 days.
Section 215 Notices
Where the condition of land is adversely affecting the amenity of the area, the LPA may serve a notice under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requiring the proper maintenance of land.
The Section 215 Notice will specify the steps that the LPA require to be taken in order to remedy the condition of the land. There is a right of appeal in the Magistrate's Court against a Section 215 Notice.
Tree Replacement Notices
Where a protected tree is removed, uprooted, or destroyed without prior consent, the LPA can serve a tree replacement notice requiring, within a specified period, the replanting of a tree of a specified size and species. There is a right of appeal against a Tree Replacement Notice.
Planning Contravention Notices (PCN)
Where it appears as though there may have been a breach of planning control in respect of any land, the LPA may serve a Planning Contravention Notice (PCN) requiring information about activities on land. There is no right of appeal against a PCN and failure to respond is an offence.
Section 330 Notices
To enable the LPA to exercise other powers, they may serve a notice under Section 330 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requiring information as to interests in land, including ownership and occupation details. There is no right of appeal against a Section 330 Notice and failure to respond is an offence.
Advertisement Removal Notices
Where an advertisement is erected without consent the LPA can, in certain instances, serve notices under Section 225 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended by Section 10 of the London Local Authorities Act 1995) and/or Section 11 of the London Local Authorities Act 1995, requiring their removal - Section 10 and Section 11 Notices. There is no right of appeal against these notices.
The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992 allows the LPA to serve a discontinuance notice against any advertisement, or the use of any advertisement site, which normally has the benefit of deemed or express consent. There is a right of appeal against a discontinuance notice.
Notice of Intended Entry
This notice is formal confirmation of the LPA's intention to enter land without a warrant. If entry to the land (or any part of it) is refused, that person obstructing the officers will be committing an offence and the LPA will obtain a warrant to gain entry. There is no right of appeal against a notice of intended entry.
In accordance with Section 188 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the planning division holds a register of all enforcement notices, stop notices and breach of condition notices served in the borough. This is available for inspection by the public.
If you wish to arrange to view the register, please contact us:
- Enforcement/Appeals/Telecommunications Team
Phoenix House, 10 Wandsworth Road
London SW8 2LL
Tel: 020 7926 1185