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Planning Enforcement2021-09-23T15:23:10+00:00

Planning Enforcement Consultants London

Norton Taylor Nunn’s team of planning enforcement consultants in London are trusted to provide professional assistance for clients subject to a planning contravention notice or planning enforcement notice by their local planning authority (LPA).

    Looking for professional planning enforcement consultants in London? Norton Taylor Nunn offers world class planning enforcement appeal guidance. Reach out to us today!

    What is Planning Enforcement?

    Planning enforcement action is taken in the event of a breach of planning control. This can be as a result of either planning permission has not been obtained, or there is a failure to comply with any planning condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted.

    Planning Enforcement is a serious matter which can result in prosecution for breaches in planning control. It is important that if you have received a Planning Contravention Notice or a Planning Enforcement Notice, you should obtain professional town planning advice swiftly. 

    Norton Taylor Nunn’s accredited planning enforcement consultants have in-depth knowledge of planning law and specialise in planning enforcement.

    • Norton Taylor Nunn’s principal Chartered Town Planner has significant expertise in planning enforcements, planning enforcement appeals, lawfulness, prior notice matters and planning contravention notice guidance.

    • Our planning enforcement consultants are able to offer well-structured and carefully considered solutions for any planning enforcement issues. Therefore should you find yourself the subject of a planning enforcement complaint, planning contravention notice or pending prosecution, we know it’s vital to secure reliable and skilled legal planning advice to remedy the situation.

    • Our planning enforcement consultants can advise the best route forward including whether to appeal against the enforcement notice, apply for a lawful development certificate, or submit a retrospective planning application.

    Why choose Norton Taylor Nunn as your planning enforcement consultants in London?

    Our  unique combination of both planning expertise and property law allows Norton Taylor Nunn to offer a comprehensive range of legal services. Our legal team have vast experience in planning law. We’ll endeavour to establish rational communication between the parties and to negotiate with the authorities where possible.

    Planning Solutions at Minimal Cost

    Our personal approach to every client is to provide town planning solutions at the minimal cost. Our planning consultants take each case personally, and will seek to resolve issues wherever possible. We believe that working in partnership with the local planning authority achieves the best results.

    Professional standards approved by the RTPI

    Professional standards by the RTPI are at the heart of what we do. We are corporate members of the Town and Country Planning Association, working to challenge, inspire and support people to create healthy, sustainable and resilient places that are fair for everyone.

    Planning Enforcement
    Specialists

    With decades of experience in town planning across the business, our planning consultants will use the knowledge and skills we have gained to help our client obtain the best possible result for them. Our accredited planning consultants have in-depth knowledge of planning law and a wealth of experience. As a result, we are specialists in Planning Enforcement.

    Planning Enforcement Appeals & Notices FAQs

    What is a Breach of Planning Control?2021-09-28T08:26:07+00:00

    A breach of planning control is defined by law as the carrying out of development without the required planning permission, or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted.

    Any development falling outside of the limits of your Permitted Development Rights will also constitute a breach of planning control, which could also lead to enforcement action.

    Visit the Planning Portal website for more information on what constitutes a breach of planning control.

    I have received a Planning Contravention Notice, what should I do?2021-10-01T14:42:24+00:00

    A failure to complete or return a notice within 21 days is an offence, as is providing false or misleading information on the notice. You should immediately obtain professional advice.

    The local council will only issue a Planning Contravention Notice when they believe a breach of planning control has taken place and they want to obtain further information before they decide whether (or if) to take planning enforcement action.

    Issuing a Planning Contravention Notice is discretionary; a local council doesn’t have to issue one before taking enforcement action.

    Consult the Government’s website for more information on planning contravention notices.

    I have received an Enforcement Notice, what should I do?2021-10-01T14:44:10+00:00

    It is an offence to fail to comply with an Enforcement Notice, once the time limit has been reached and no appeal is outstanding. A person found guilty of an offence is liable to an unlimited fine, and the courts will take account of any financial benefit stemming from the offence. You should immediately obtain professional advice.

    The local council does not have to take enforcement action, as it is a discretionary power. An enforcement notice should only be issued if it is in the public interest to do so, and if it is the most expedient way to resolve the breach of planning control.

    Consult the Government website for further guidance on enforcement and post-permission matters.

    Can I appeal against an Enforcement Notice?2019-12-31T00:40:46+00:00

    There are seven statutory grounds of appeal against an Enforcement Notice; these are:

    • That planning permission ought to be granted, or the condition or limitation should be discharged;
    • That the alleged breach of planning control has not occurred;
    • That the matters alleged (if they occurred) do not constitute a breach of planning control;
    • At the date that the Enforcement Notice was issued, no enforcement action could be taken;
    • Copies of the Enforcement Notice were not served in accordance with the Statutory Requirements;
    • The steps required by the notice to be taken, or the activities required by the notice to cease, exceed what is necessary either to remedy any breach of planning control or to remedy any injury to amenity which has been caused by any such breach; and/or,
    • Any period specified in the notice falls short of what should reasonably be allowed.

    Visit the government website for further guidance on the appeal of an enforcement notice.

    Why do I need to get planning permission?2019-12-31T00:25:29+00:00

    Planning is about how we plan for, and make decisions about the future of our cities, towns and countryside. Your local planning authority is responsible for deciding whether a development – anything from an extension on a house to a new shopping centre – should go ahead. For example, in most cases, it would probably not be a good idea to apply to build a nightclub or disco next to a retirement home.

    However, careful and clever planning combined with sensitive design and landscaping can make some development acceptable where it would previously be thought unsuitable. This is the reason that applications are considered so carefully. The planning system is needed to control development in your area.

    Check planning permission section of the government website for further guidance.

    Do I always need planning permission for a development?2019-12-31T00:23:20+00:00

    No. Certain developments can be done without the need for planning permission. This is known as “permitted development”. However, some or even all permitted development rights can be withdrawn by the use of an “Article 4 Direction”. This is issued when specific control is required over-development in an area of special importance, such as a conservation area.

    A given size of extension is usually permitted development, which is normally set in cubic metres and percentage of the original building.  However, any work undertaken on the property since its construction counts towards this volume, including any work done prior to you moving in.  You should seek advice from Norton Taylor Nunn before considering undertaking additional work, just to be sure.

    For further guidance on when is permission required, visit the government website which sets out when planning permission is required and different types of planning permission which may be granted.

    Do I need planning permission for an outbuilding?2020-01-04T22:23:27+00:00

    Rules governing outbuildings apply to summer houses, sheds, playhouses, greenhouses and garages as well as other ancillary garden buildings such as swimming pools, ponds, sauna cabins, kennels, enclosures (including tennis courts) and many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse.

    If you are unsure if your planned building falls into the category of ‘outbuildings’ or if you are unsure if planning permission is required, please contact your local planning authority or a town planner.

    Outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

    • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
    • Outbuildings and garages to be single-storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
    • Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
    • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms (a platform must not exceed 0.3 metres in height)
    • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
    • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from the house to be limited to 10 square metres.

    *The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

    Please note: The permitted development allowances described here apply to houses and not to:

    • Flats and maisonettes (view our guidance on flats and maisonettes)
    • Converted houses or houses created through the permitted development rights to change use (as detailed in our change of use section)
    • Other buildings
    • Areas where there may be a planning condition, Article 4 Direction or other restriction that limits permitted development rights.
    Do you need planning permission for a conservatory?2021-04-28T08:31:29+00:00

    Any plans for a conservatory will be subject to the associated neighbour consultation scheme. This requires that the relevant Local Planning Authority is informed of the proposed work via a prior approval application.

    Adding a conservatory to your house is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, subject to the limits and conditions listed below.

    • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
    • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
    • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
    • Single-storey rear extensions must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than eight metres if a detached house; or more than six metres for any other house. If the house is in Article 2(3) designated land* or a Site of Special Scientific Interest, this limit is reduced to four metres if a detached house; or three metres for any other house. These limits are now permanent and subject to the neighbour consultation scheme. This requires that the relevant Local Planning Authority is informed of the proposed work via a prior approval application.
    • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres
    • Extensions of more than one storey must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres or be within seven metres of any boundary opposite the rear wall of the house
    • Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres
    • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house
    • Side extensions to be single-storey with a maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house
    • Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house
    • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms
    • On Article 2(3) designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey
    • On Article 2(3) designated land* no cladding of the exterior
    • On Article 2(3) designated land* no side extensions.

    * The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

    * Article 2(3) designated land is land within:

    • a conservation area; or
    • an area of outstanding natural beauty; or
    • an area specified by the Secretary of State for the purposes of enhancement and protection of the natural beauty and amenity of the countryside; or
    • the Broads; or
    • a National Park; or
    • a World Heritage Site.

    Please note: The permitted development allowances described here apply to houses and not to:

    • Flats and maisonettes
    • Converted houses or houses created through the permitted development rights to change use
      • Other buildings
      • Areas where there may be a planning condition, Article 4 Direction or other restriction that limits permitted development rights
    • Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required.

    Please be aware that if your development is over 100 square metres, it may be liable for a charge under the Community Infrastructure Levy

    What happens if you ignore a planning enforcement notice?2020-10-10T09:18:06+00:00

    An enforcement notice is a legal document issued to property owners in the case of a planning control breach. Enforcement notices outline the steps which must be undertaken in order to resolve this breach within a specified timeframe. These steps may include the deconstruction or alteration of a building, the reinstation of a demolished building, or the ceasing of activity on the property.

    If the notice is not appealed within the specified time period, it will take effect, and the person in control of development on the property will be required to undertake all steps specified. Further ignoration of an enforcement notice is considered a failure to comply, and a criminal offence.

    What is the 10-year rule in planning permission?2020-10-10T09:20:26+00:00

    The 10-year rule is most often used to refer to a legal loophole in UK planning regulation.  If the land has been developed unlawfully, the best course of action is to submit a retrospective application – if this course is not followed, an enforcement notice may be issued listing drastic alterations that must be made to the property by law. Alternatively, if no enforcement is taken within four years of development completion, it is granted immunity from enforcement action. This loophole also exists in a 10-year form when dealing with a change of use in the property.

    These loopholes are extremely risky ways of avoiding planning regulation – Norton Taylor Nunn strongly advises against the use of such methods.

    What is a breach of planning control?2020-10-10T09:22:32+00:00

    A breach of planning control, or a planning breach, is defined by law as the starting or continuation of a development without the correct planning permission or failing to comply with conditions or limitations listed in permissions. Developments out with the limits of Permitted Development Rights are also considered a breach of planning control.

    Those guilty of serious planning control breaches may be subject to fines, or prosecution.

    What happens if planning conditions are not met?2020-10-10T09:23:39+00:00

    Planning conditions must be met as a legal requirement. Local Planning Authorities are generally authorised to conduct inspections of the property in order to ensure the development’s compliance to conditions within the planning permission.

    Failure to comply with and conditions or stipulations outlined within the planning permission may lead to the issue of an enforcement notice, or to invalidation of the original permission. Following this, failure to comply with the steps set out in the enforcement notice may result in prosecution.  

    Does an enforcement notice expire?2021-06-23T11:29:25+00:00

    The Local Planning Authority (LPA) will make decisions on a case-by-case basis as to what is the appropriate action that needs to be taken when a breach of planning control has been identified. This will be dependent on a variety of factors including the type of development the breach involves.

    Depending on the route that the LPA chooses to take, there are different periods within which the person receiving the enforcement notice should take action. Some types of notices need to be acted upon within 21 or 22 days, whilst others will expire only after day 28. The notice sent by the LPA will clearly state the reasons for the notice and the timeframes within which appropriate action should be taken, as well as the consequences of inaction within the specified period.

    You should NEVER ignore an enforcement notice.

    What is planning enforcement?2021-06-23T11:30:01+00:00

    Planning enforcement is the investigation that happens when an alleged breach of planning control occurs, and where a planning control breach is identified. Planning law breaches include not obtaining planning permission, not carrying out works in accordance with permission, planning condition non-compliance or changing the use of sites without permission.

    Planning enforcement aims to resolve these using the most appropriate action. A planning enforcement officer is there to guide planning applications, breaches of planning law, retrospective planning applications and enforcement action. A breach of planning control is not usually a criminal offence, however, carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building, the unauthorised display of advertisements or damage to a protected tree may involve a criminal offence.

    What is a planning enforcement officer?2021-06-23T11:30:31+00:00

    A planning enforcement officer is someone responsible for investigating complaints regarding planning legislation breaches, obtaining evidence, and preparing advice to resolve the problem. They investigate by visiting the site when necessary, attempt to resolve breaches via discussion and negotiation, or when required, produce a written recommendation or take formal action.

    The planning enforcement officer will also be involved in any planning applications or appeals that may emerge from the enforcement action. When first notified of the potential breach, the officer has the right to enter the development site at a reasonable hour without a warrant to check if there has been a breach of planning. Obstructing their entrance is seen as a criminal offence.

    What can a planning enforcement officer do?2021-06-23T11:31:01+00:00

    Local planning authorities have discretionary power to investigate and enforce any potential breaches of planning control. Planning enforcement is usually carried out by an enforcement officer, whose role may include:

    • Providing guidance about planning applications, breaches of planning law, retrospective planning applications and enforcement action.
    • Investigating complaints to determine whether planning permission for works that have begun or are completed is required.
    • Making site visits. Enforcement officers have a legal right of entry to investigate alleged breaches of planning law. If entry is refused, a warrant may be obtained.
    • Assessing developments that are in breach of planning law to determine the harm done and the possible remedies.
    • Entering into negotiations with the parties.
    • Taking enforcement action.
    • Checking compliance with enforcement action.
    • Instigating prosecutions for non-compliance with enforcement action.

    What constitutes a breach of planning permission?2021-06-23T11:31:30+00:00

    A breach of planning permission is defined in section 171A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as the carrying out of development without the required planning permission or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted. This is an offence.

    Another example of a breach of planning permission involves changing the use of a site or buildings without obtaining permission where permission is needed.

    Depending on what type of planning permission has been breached, there are different types of enforcement actions that the officer can apply – from planning contravention notice, through planning enforcement order to stop notice and temporary stop notice.

    Not all planning applications will require planning enforcement consultants

    Norton Taylor Nunn is not content to simply consist of planning enforcement consultants. We can also help you find the appropriate architect or designer for your project, along with other experts who may be needed. Draw on our network of transport planners, heritage planners, environmental consultants, and technical draftspersons.

    We’re Not Only Experts in Planning Enforcement Appeals…

    We have the tools and experience to help your vision come to life. No project is too big or small. We’re always happy to  give professional town planning advice and talk about how we can best serve you.

    Planning
    Applications

    We work with you to help secure planning permission for your project.

    Planning
    Appeals

    Norton Taylor Nunn wins the majority of planning appeals we undertake.

    Planning
    Enforcement

    Our planning enforcement consultants in London can assist with enforcement notices.

    Planning
    Objections

    We can help you prevent that inappropriate development or extension.

    Strategic Land
    Development

    Norton Taylor Nunn works with leading partners to unlock the full value of your land.

    Housing
    Economics

    We have a track record of winning cases with the Planning Inspector.

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