PPS 9: The Enforcement of Planning Control
Where unauthorised development can be made acceptable through the imposition of conditions
5.1 The Department may consider that an unauthorised development could be made acceptable by the imposition of planning conditions (for example, to control the hours, or mode, of operation; or to carry out a landscaping scheme, etc). If so, the approach of the Department will be similar to that set out in the previous section which will be to advise the owners or occupiers of the land to submit a retrospective application for planning permission without delay, together with the appropriate fee.
5.2 The Department will advise those concerned that it does not wish the development to cease. However it will also be made clear that the Department has a duty to safeguard public amenity by ensuring that development is carried out, or continued, within acceptable limits, having regard to local circumstances and the Departments’ relevant planning policies.
5.3 If, after a formal invitation to submit a planning application, the owners or occupiers of the land refuse to do so, the Department will normally use its powers, as indicated in paragraph 4.2 above, to require the submission of a retrospective planning application.
5.4 Despite the issue of a notice under Article 23 of the 1991 Planning Order certain owners or occupiers of land may still refuse to submit a planning application which would enable a grant of conditional planning permission. In these circumstances the Department, in addition to pursuing court action as outlined above, would be justified in issuing an enforcement notice if, in its opinion, the unauthorised development has resulted in any injury to public amenity or damage to a statutorily designated site, which can only be satisfactorily removed or alleviated by imposing conditions on a grant of planning permission for the development.
5.5 Where the Department issues an enforcement notice in such cases this will set out clearly the steps necessary to render the development acceptable. The owners or occupiers should then have no doubt about the purpose of the enforcement action, or what they are required to do in order to remove or alleviate the perceived injury to public amenity.