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How to appeal against an enforcement notice

Enforcement notice appeals

This advice is important to you. If you have already been served with a copy of an enforcement notice, please read this immediately.

This information, prepared by the Planning Inspectorate, is meant to help anyone served with a copy of an enforcement notice to decide whether there are grounds for appeal to the Secretary of State and if so how to appeal. The Secretary of State responsible is the Secretary of State for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).

This advice is not part of the enforcement notice. It is based on the relevant provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 (see Appendix 7). The advice relates to appeals made after 23 December 2002 under the new rules and regulations which are listed in Appendix 6 (pages 55-6). More comprehensive information about the policy for enforcing planning control can be found in Planning Policy Guidance Note 18 (PPG 18) issued by the former Department of the Environment and the former Welsh Office in December 1991. Detailed advice on planning enforcement provisions is contained in former DOE Circular 10/97 available from the Stationery Office and through bookshops (see Appendix 5). For Listed Building/Conservation Area appeals the following advice on procedures should be read in conjunction with Appendix 5 (pages 50-53).

Whether to appeal

You must act quickly in deciding whether to appeal. Any appeal must be made before the date on which the notice takes effect (the 'effective date').

Your Local Planning Authority (LPA) will serve an enforcement notice on you when they consider you have broken planning control rules. Normally this will be because they consider what you are doing, or have done, is harmful to your neighbourhood. You should bear this in mind when considering whether to appeal.

Before you decide to appeal, please carefully consider the LPA's reasons for serving the enforcement notice on you.

When to appeal

We must receive your enforcement appeal, or it must be posted in time to be received in the ordinary course of post, before the date on which the notice takes effect. This date is shown in your enforcement notice and should be at least 28 days from when a copy of the enforcement notice is served on you. You should not wait until the last few days. If you do and anything goes wrong, it may be too late to put matters right. This will mean that your enforcement appeal is 'out of time' and we will not be able to accept it.

The LPA should have sent you three copies of the appeal form with this booklet and two copies of their enforcement notice. But if you do not have an appeal form and cannot get one quickly, you may appeal by letter.

Who can appeal

Anyone with an interest in the land may appeal, whether or not they have been served with a copy of the enforcement notice. This normally means the owner, tenant or leaseholder. A mortgage company or other lender can also have an interest.

Anyone occupying the land with the owner's permission may also appeal. But trespassers may not, even if they have been served with a copy of the notice.

If you are unclear about anything, you may find it helpful to consult a professional adviser such as a solicitor, town planning consultant, surveyor or valuer. Or you may prefer to talk the matter over with your local Citizens' Advice Bureau first.

Sometimes, more than one person may have a legal interest in the land to which an enforcement notice relates and their different interests may conflict with each other. For example, the owner of the land may wish the enforcement notice to be upheld, while the occupier of the land may wish to continue with the present use. In these circumstances, it is up to each person with a legal interest to decide how his or her interests will best be served, once an enforcement notice has been issued.

All owners of land are strongly advised to consider the consequences for themselves if they do not appeal against an enforcement notice which they support, but which someone else appeals against. In that event, the owner will have the status of an 'interested person', rather than a 'principal party' in the appeal. This does not entitle the owner to receive a copy of all the representations made by the appellant and other interested people (though the owner would be able to see such representations at the LPA's offices).

When an owner of land does not want to appeal against an enforcement notice, but finds the status of an 'interested person' unsatisfactory in relation to an enforcement appeal (for example, an appeal made by a tenant), special arrangements can be made to safeguard the owner's interest in the appeal. This will involve treating the owner as an 'interested owner' for the purpose of the appeal.

Someone who is given the administrative status of 'interested owner' will be given the same treatment as an appellant. An opportunity will be given to attend any local inquiry, or be present at a site inspection by our Inspector, and to see and comment on any written representations made by the principal parties, and any other interested parties, during the progress of the appeal. If you are an owner of the land and wish to have the status of 'interested owner' in somebody else's appeal against an enforcement notice, you should tell us as soon as you know that an enforcement appeal has been made.

How to make your appeal against an enforcement notice

Enforcement Notices can be appealed against see the Planning Portal for online form and information about making an enforcement appeal. Alternatively you can use an official form and send your appeal to us by post or fax. If you submit by fax keep a copy of any fax transmission report.

Post to:
The Planning Inspectorate
Room 3/13
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6PN

Helpline: 0303 444 5000
Fax: 0117 372 8782

If your appeal arrives 'out of time', the postmark on the envelope will be examined to see whether, according to the postage paid, it should normally have been received before the date when the enforcement notice took effect. But if the postmark is unclear and you cannot supply proof of posting in time to be received before that date, your appeal will not be accepted.

If you are submitting your appeal by post you should fill in three copies of the appeal form. You may photocopy the form and send a copy to the LPA and keep a copy for yourself, but you must send the original to the Planning Inspectorate. You can use appeal forms provided by the Planning Inspectorate.

Contact Development Management