Carrying out work without planning permission

Enforcement action

If enforcement action is authorised

The procedure is as follows:

  1. A requisition for Information notice may be issued in order to identify all persons with an interest in the land. It is a criminal offence not to comply with a requisition for information notice.
  2. The enforcement notice will be served setting out the reasons for issuing the Notice, what steps are required to be taken and the time period for carrying out the requirements.

There is a right of appeal to the first secretary of state against the serving of the notice, but the appeal must be made before the notice comes into effect.

Information on the appeal procedures will be sent to you when the enforcement notice is served.

If you submit an appeal, the requirements of the notice are suspended until the appeal is determined.

If you do not appeal, or if the appeal is dismissed and the notice comes into effect, then at the end of the compliance period an officer will visit the site to inspect whether the requirements of the enforcement notice have been complied with.

Not complying with the enforcement notice

It is a criminal offence not to comply with any requirements of the enforcement notice once the compliance period has expired. We may therefore instigate legal proceedings.

The penalty on conviction, for being in breach of an enforcement notice is a maximum fine of £20,000 if tried in the Magistrates Court or an unlimited fine if tried in the Crown Court.

Immunity from enforcement action

If you consider that development is authorised you can apply for a Certificate of Lawful Existing Use or Development. The circumstances in which you may wish to consider this course of action are set out below:

  • You do not agree with us that the works are development requiring planning permission.
  • You consider that the development is immune from enforcement action because it has existed for more than 4 years in the case of a residential use, the erection of a building, an extension or other built development.
  • You consider that the development is immune from enforcement action because it has existed for more than 10 years in the case of changes of use or breach of condition.

If you apply for a Certificate of Lawful Existing Use or Development, the responsibility is on the applicant to prove that the development has existed for the appropriate amount of time. You will be required to submit supporting documents, along with copies of appropriate plans and the required fee.