Planning Portal

PPS 1: General Principles
Development Control: Enforcement

67. The purpose of the planning enforcement provisions in the 1991 Planning Order is to protect the integrity of the planning system and development control process by enabling the Department to remedy any harm to amenity or other interest of acknowledged importance that may result from unauthorised development. Whether to take enforcement action and, if so, what action is best suited to the particular circumstances, are matters for the Department’s discretion.
68. The Department’s main enforcement powers are:
  • to issue an enforcement notice stating the required steps to remedy the breach within a time period (there is a right of appeal against an enforcement notice);
  • to serve a stop notice which can prohibit, almost immediately, any activity to which the accompanying enforcement notice relates (there is no right of appeal against a stop notice);
  • to enter on to privately owned land for enforcement purposes;
  • following the landowner’s default, to enter land and carry out the remedial work required by an enforcement notice and to recover from the owner any expenses reasonably incurred by it in that behalf; and
  • to require the submission of a planning application.
69. After an enforcement notice has become effective, or at any time after a stop notice has been served, it is a criminal offence not to comply with an enforcement notice’s requirements or contravene the prohibition in a stop notice.
70. The Department intends to issue a draft Planning Policy Statement on Enforcement in the near future.
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