Making an enforcement appeal

Making an enforcement appeal

If you have gone ahead with building or renovation work without the required permission, the council may simply ask you to apply for permission retrospectively. Much depends on the nature of the development and its effect on neighbours. If the council considers that the development involves a breach of planning control, it may take remedial enforcement action.

There are two types of enforcement appeal. There is the appeal with deals with enforcement notices generally and there is also an appeal which is specifically related to listed building/conservation area enforcement notices. In practice, they are very similar, but use different forms.

Enforcement action

This usually involves issuing an enforcement notice setting out the measures needed to remedy the breach, and the date by which these must be implemented. You may be required to cease your activities, or demolish all or part of the building. If you have not complied with a condition imposed on the grant of planning permission, the council may issue a breach of condition notice requiring you to carry out work to observe the terms of the condition.

There is a right of appeal against an enforcement notice. If an appeal is dismissed and the notice becomes effective, it is an offence not to comply with it, and the council may decide to prosecute you. As enforcement proceedings are likely to be time-consuming and disruptive to your business, it is as well to consult the council before you go ahead with your proposed development.

There is no right of appeal against a breach of condition notice and you will risk prosecution if you do not comply with it.

You must appeal against an enforcement notice to the Planning Inspectorate or Planning Appeals Commission (see contact details below) before the date on which the notice takes effect. This date should be shown on your enforcement notice and should be at least 28 days from when the enforcement notice was served on you. You should not wait until the last few days. If your enforcement appeal is received 'out of time' neither the Planning Inspectorate nor the Planning Appeals Commission will accept it.

Before you submit your appeal, you should discuss the enforcement notice with the local planning authority (LPA). The appeals process should be considered a last resort, where all attempts to reach a mutually acceptable outcome have failed. We encourage you to continue these discussions, even during the appeal itself. This will help to narrow the areas in dispute and save time and money at the appeal stage.

In England and Wales you can submit your enforcement appeal online using the Planning Casework Service:

In Northern Ireland you can prepare the forms on the Planning Appeals Commission website:

For more information, see our section 'The planning appeals process'.

Contact details

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