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An Enforcement Notice may be issued when the Council believe a breach of planning control has taken place at a site, such as building operations or a change of use being implemented without the correct form of planning permission being granted.


Once received, it is important to consider your options quickly as there is a 28 day period within which an Enforcement Appeal can be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. If no appeal is submitted, then you must comply with the notice or face consequences, which could include criminal prosecution.


There are seven potential grounds to appeal an Enforcement Notice, which are included below and set out at Section 174 of the Town and Country Planning Act.


Ground (a)

  • that, in respect of any breach of planning control which may be constituted by the matters stated in the notice, planning permission ought to be granted or, as the case may be, the condition or limitation concerned ought to be discharged;

Ground (b)

  • that those matters have not occurred;

Ground (c)

  • that those matters (if they occurred) do not constitute a breach of planning control;

Ground (d) 

  • that, at the date when the notice was issued, no enforcement action could be taken in respect of any breach of planning control which may be constituted by those matters;

Ground (e)     

  • that copies of the enforcement notice were not served as required by section 172;

Ground (f)      

  • that the steps required by the notice to be taken, or the activities required by the notice to cease, exceed what is necessary to remedy any breach of planning control which may be constituted by those matters or, as the case may be, to remedy any injury to amenity which has been caused by any such breach;

Ground (g)     

  • that any period specified in the notice in accordance with section 173(9) falls short of what should reasonably be allowed.


Enforcement Appeals are extremely lengthy processes. Below is an indicative list of the timescales for enforcement appeals as per the Planning Inspectorate’s statistics at the start of 2023. Please note the timescales for Planning Appeals will be different.

Enforcement Appeal (written reps) - 54 weeks

Enforcement Appeal (hearing) - 82 weeks

Enforcement Appeal (inquiry) - 89 weeks 

So as you can see, the appeal process is long and should not be entered into lightly!


If you’d like some guidance regarding your Enforcement Notice or to consider an Enforcement Appeal, please feel free get in touch with a member of our team.

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