If you have received an enforcement notice, then early advice is crucial. Even if your case is difficult to win, there may be lesser steps that can be undertaken rather than full demolition of the unlawful works.
Remedial rather than punitive:
An enforcement appeal inspector has wide powers to decide whether there is any solution, short of a complete remedy of the breach, which is acceptable in planning terms and amenity terms.
In a 2007 High Court case, Lord Justice Carnwarth observed that:
“an appellant would be well advised to put forward any possible fall-back position as part of his substantive case. It is not the duty of the inspector to make his case for him”. He went on to note that “enforcement procedure are intended to be remedial rather than punitive” and “if there is an obvious alternative which would overcome the planning difficulties, at less cost and disruption than total removal, he should feel free to consider it”.
Early instruction is important:
Of course, to compile a case exploring all the alternatives can take time. This is why early instruction of a professional team is so important, especially given the tight deadlines in enforcement appeals.
At Plainview Planning we handle a high volume of enforcement work, and for those cases that we cannot win completely we regularly secure options for lesser steps to be undertaken.
If you have received an enforcement notice and need to explore options and understand how best we can assist, contact our planning team via firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01242 501003.