Planning Enforcement

Enforcement of planning control has never been straightforward.  The requirements for enforcement notices always have been, and remain, fairly technical.  Some of the 2011 additions to the 1990 Act have yet to be fully considered by the courts.  Enforcement by injunction and contempt proceedings has become increasingly popular in recent years.  The planning team has extensive experience of the day-to-day problems of taking and resisting enforcement action, for example –

  • Drafting reports to authorise enforcement notices, stop notices, decisions under s70C and direct action, in particular the treatment of A8 rights, the best interests of children and the public sector equality duty;
  • The extent of the obligation to make welfare inquiries where enforcement action will cause homelessness or other personal hardship and the protection of personal data elicited by such inquiries;
  • The meaning and significance of ’intentional unauthorised development’;
  • The construction and enforcement of planning obligations;
  • The construction of conditions and enforcement by breach of condition notice;
  • Drafting enforcement notices etc, the scope for amendment on appeal, nullity and the dangers of under enforcement;
  • The relative merits of direct action, prosecution and injunction proceedings where an enforcement notice has been breached;
  • The effect of deception on claims for immunity, the operation of ss171BA – 171BC and the preparation and assessment of evidence intended to prove immunity, including Thurrock continuity;
  • s174 and s195 appeals and the legitimate scope of ground (f) appeals;
  • s289 challenges;
  • s70C and the emerging caselaw on its scope;
  • Prosecutions under s179 and s210, defences asserting the invalidity of the enforcement notice/TPO and the drafting of prosecution evidence, summonses and indictments;
  • Listed building prosecutions, including the meaning of ‘demolition’ and ‘alteration’ in s7 of the Listed Building Act;
  • Confiscation proceedings.

Landmark barristers frequently appear at hearings and inquiries dealing with s174/s195 appeals, in the High Court on s289 challenges and judicial reviews against enforcement decisions and in Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.

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