Blandy & Blandy LLP Solicitors

Insights // 09 September 2019

Listed Building Enforcement Notices Explained

Solicitor Kayleigh Chapman, in our leading Planning & Environmental law team, explains Listed Building Enforcement Notices.   

In our previous blog article we discussed how to apply for listed building consent and possible prosecution for failing to obtain such authorisation. In this article we will look at Listed Building Enforcement Notices.

Four and Ten Year Rules

You may have heard of such things as the four and ten year “rules” where after a period of time enforcement action is unable to be taken by a local planning authority.

Unfortunately, in the context of works to listed buildings such rules do not apply. If unauthorised works to a listed building were carried out 15 years ago, the local planning authority could still take steps to issue a Listed Building Enforcement Notice. Indeed, such an Enforcement Notice could be served even if the current property owner was not the party that undertook the unauthorised works. It is therefore important that when purchasing a listed building the seller is asked for confirmation of any works carried out to the building (whether by them or a predecessor) and to check that listed building consent has been obtained in respect of those works (and any conditions complied with).

When can a local planning authority issue a Listed Building Enforcement Notice?

Section 38(1) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) 1990 Act provides that a local planning authority can issue a Listed Building Enforcement Notice (“LB Enforcement Notice”) where it considers it expedient to do so and either:

  1. a) the works that have been or are being carried out to a listed building are unauthorised and involve demolition or alteration or extension to a listed building which affects its character; or
  2. b) conditions attached to a listed building consent have not been complied with

What does a LB Enforcement Notice do?

Similar to a non-listed building Enforcement Notice, a LB Enforcement Notice must state the alleged contravention (e.g. the works undertaken without Listed Building Consent). The LB Enforcement Notice will also specify steps required to be taken (Section 38(2) 1990 Act) such as:

  1. requiring the building to be restored to its previous state;
  2. works required to alleviate harm to the building (where restoration is not reasonably practicable); or
  3. works to put the building in the state it would be if the conditions of any listed building consent were complied with

By virtue of Section 38(7) of the 1990 Act, if the LB Enforcement Notice requires specific works to be carried out to alleviate harm to a listed building then those works do not need specific listed building consent; listed building consent is deemed to have been granted.  In these circumstances, care should be taken in considering whether the works also require planning permission.

A LB Enforcement Notice must specify the date by which the steps required to be taken must be completed by (Section 38(3) 1990 Act).

If the requirements of the LB Enforcement Notice are not complied during the period specified a local planning authority is authorised by Section 42 of the 1990 Act to enter the land subject of the notice and carry out the steps required. The local planning authority is able to recover any reasonably incurred expenses in carrying out the works from the owner of the land.

LB Enforcement Notices must be served in accordance with Section 38(4) of the 1990 Act. This Section requires a copy of the notice to be served no later than 28 days after its issue and no later than 28 days before the date it is due to take effect. The notice must further be served on the owner and occupier of the building and any other person with an interest who, in the opinion of the local planning authority, is material affected by the notice.

Our next blog article will consider whether an appeal can be made against an LB Enforcement Notice and, if so, on what grounds.

For further information or legal advice, please contact law@blandy.co.uk or call 0118 951 6800. 

This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.

Kayleigh Chapman

Kayleigh Chapman

Solicitor, Planning & Environmental Law

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