Where a breach of planning control has occurred, enforcement in respect of that breach does not necessarily always follow, however if an Enforcement Notice is issued it is important to seek professional advice both on the requirements of the Notice, and the deadlines within the Notice.
Should you not wish to comply with the terms of an Enforcement Notice, then an appeal must be submitted before the deadline stated in the Notice. An appeal that is submitted after the deadline is invalid, meaning that the Enforcement Notice and its requirements cannot be challenged even if you consider that the terms of the Enforcement Notice are incorrect or unfair.
If an Enforcement Notice comes into effect, then failure to comply with the terms of the Enforcement Notice becomes a criminal offence for which you can be prosecuted. It is not a defence to the prosecution to argue that the terms of the Enforcement Notice were wrong, or that the development was in fact lawful at the time the notice was issue. The only opportunity to make those arguments is through submission of an Enforcement Appeal.
Our team of specialist planning lawyers have significant experience in advising on whether there are any technical grounds upon which to appeal an enforcement notice such a failure of service or drafting, as well as the substantial grounds of appeal that may be available. We often advise on the overarching strategy to adopt during the appeal process, as well as providing advice on the process itself including submission of the appeals.
We have good relationships with planning consultants, arboriculturalist, Counsel and other planning specialists who may be necessary to provide specialist evidence in support of the enforcement appeal, and often work as part of a professional team to provide a robust and cohesive response during an Enforcement Appeal.
Please see further information on our team of Planning Environmental Law solicitors and our full range of services.