We aim to avoid restricting the freedom of landowners, while maintaining the integrity of the built environment and allowing residents to live in comfort.

When works are carried out without the correct permissions it is a breach of planning control. The council can take several different types of formal planning enforcement action when rules have been broken.

If it is decided that the planning rules have been broken, Planning Enforcement will investigate the matter in line with our Planning Enforcement Protocol. This might involve negotiating a resolution by requesting a retrospective planning application or that works are carried out to resolve the issue/s. If those responsible are unable to satisfactorily resolve the matter, we may decide to take formal action.

Although many cases can be resolved informally, the council often has to take action. We serve many notices every year, as well as starting legal proceedings including prosecutions and injunctions.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Planning enforcement protocol document

Our Planning Enforcement Protocol sets out our processes for handling investigations into alleged breaches of planning control. It has been written to help all of those involved understand the steps involved in the enforcement process.

2. Types of formal enforcement action

Enforcement Notices

An enforcement notice may be served where the council 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 council 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 council require to be taken in order to secure compliance with the condition. There is no right of appeal against a BCN.

Stop Notices

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 council 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 council 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 council 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 council 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 council 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 council 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 council 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 council'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 council will obtain a warrant to gain entry. There is no right of appeal against a notice of intended entry.

Copies of notices and confirmation of compliance

You can find information about how to obtain copies of enforcement notices and getting our confirmation that a notice has been complied with on the last page in this guide.

3. Planning enforcement appeals

There is a statutory right of appeal against enforcement notices served by the Local Planning Authority. Anyone with an interest in the land, even if they have not been issued with a copy of the notice, can make an appeal - this normally means the owner, tenant or leaseholder of the property.

Anyone who is not the person making the appeal or the Local Planning Authority also has the right to take part and make formal comments on the appeal.

How to make an appeal

If you want to make an appeal against a notice served by the Local Planning Authority, you must do so before the date when the notice comes into effect. This date will be clearly stated on the notice.

Before deciding whether or not to appeal against the enforcement notice you should read the Enforcement appeals procedure guidance which gives detailed advice about the appeal process.

If you decide that you want to lodge an appeal against a notice you can do so online at the planning casework service area of the Planning Inspectorate's website.

If you want to take part in an appeal

If you are aware of an enforcement appeal being made and you are not the person making the appeal, you also have the right to take part.

If you have not received notification of the appeal directly from the Local Planning Authority, you can contact our Planning Appeals team for more information about the processes and deadline involved:

Email: planningappeals@lambeth.gov.uk
Postal address:
Planning Appeals
London Borough of Lambeth
PO Box 734
Winchester
SO23 5DG

If you would like to comment on an appeal please read the Planning Inspectorate's Guide to taking part in Enforcement Appeals. The guides are split per procedure for written representations, for informal hearings and public inquiries.

The duration of appeals

Depending on the format the appeal takes, the process can often take up to a year.

4. Copies of enforcement notices and register

Copies of enforcement notices

For current enforcement cases where we have served a notice, you may be able to view and download a copy of the notice through our planning application database.

If you are looking for a copy of a particular enforcement notice and are unable to find it in our planning application database you can request a copy from us by email at planningenforcement@lambeth.gov.uk. Please include the following details with your request:

  • The full address of the property.
  • Any local authority reference numbers (if available).
  • A copy of the relevant entry in the local land charges search (if available).
  • Any other information which may assist us in identifying the notice (description, year, etc.).

We cannot provide a guaranteed response time due to the potential for delays in processes that are not within our control, however, we would usually expect to provide a copy of a notice within 10 working days.

Register of enforcement notices

The planning team also has a register of all enforcement notices, stop notices and breach of condition notices served in the borough, as required by Section 188 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. If you would like to arrange to view the register, please contact us:

Email: planningenforcement@lambeth.gov.uk

Postal address:
Planning Enforcement
London Borough of Lambeth
PO Box 734
Winchester
SO23 5DG

5. Enforcement Notice Compliance Certificates (ENCCs)

You can apply for an ENCC to confirm whether or not a planning enforcement notice has been complied with. The application requires the payment of a fee of £192.

The certificate provides written confirmation that, so far as the council have been able to ascertain, the requirements of a notice were, or were not, fully complied with on a particular date. This can be helpful if you are intending to sell a property where a notice has been served, with potential to speed up conveyancing and the sale process. It can also provide owners with peace of mind. Please note that if you have received the results of a local land charges search from Lambeth, compliance with any enforcement notice may be confirmed within the search results.

If you wish to apply for an ENCC, the payment of £192 must be made via our contact centre on 020 7926 1180 before we will process your query. When making your payment you should clearly state that the payment is for an Enforcement Notice Compliance Certificate. Please then email planningenforcement@lambeth.gov.uk along with:

  • Receipt or confirmation of payment - your request will not be processed without it.
  • The full address of the property.
  • Any local authority reference numbers (if available).
  • A copy of the relevant entry in the local land charges search (if available).
  • Any other information which may assist us in identifying the notice.

Once we have received the above we will assess your request, which in most circumstances require off-site file retrieval and, for ENCC requests, a site visit. To arrange the site visit we will contact you on the email address provided. We cannot provide a guaranteed response time due to the potential for delays in processes that are not within our control, however, we would usually expect to provide an ENCC within 20 working days.

Please note that after an ENCC has been granted we can consider the withdrawal of the original enforcement notice upon request. If you wish to request the withdrawal of the original enforcement notice an additional fee of £96 must be paid.