Given the complexity and ever changing nature of planning policy and rules, it is perhaps no great surprise that there are times when building works or uses of sites have occurred without planning permission. In these instances, the local council may take enforcement action to rectify the situation. Enforcement can take a variety of forms, and normally starts with a visit from an Enforcement Officer to investigate any alleged breach of planning and can then often be followed up with a Planning Contravention Notice or other correspondence from the council that requires formal action. If it advised that you contact us as soon as possible should you receive any communications from the council regarding an enforcement investigation, so that the appropriate action is taken from the start. Discussing any alleged breach of planning with the council can often avoid the serving of any formal Enforcement Notice. If the council subsequently issues an Enforcement Notice, then there would only be a prescribed time-period in which to rectify the breach of planning, which can often be very short.
Please get in touch with use should you require any further advice or information of enforcement issues, and particularly if you have received any correspondence from the council regarding an enforcement investigation. There are a number of courses of action to resolve any enforcement investigations, from the submission of a retrospective planning application; submission of a Certificate of Lawful Use Existing; or through the appeal system, and we will be able to advise on the best course of action for your particular case. We have extensive experience of dealing with enforcement issues across a number of local authorities, and resolving these via a number of different actions.