Finding a solution – Ground G in planning enforcement appeals

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At Plainview Planning we undertake a wide range of enforcement work on both residential and commercial premises.
We are always keen to remind enforcement officers and planning inspectors that:

  1. the planning enforcement procedure is intended to be remedial rather than punitive; and
  2. all parties should explore alternatives which could overcome the planning difficulties at less cost and disruption than full demolition or cessation.

Sometimes however the changes required to make an unlawful development acceptable are too great to be determined via an enforcement appeal. This is mainly because the suggested remedial works may be so great that they warrant scrutiny from neighbours and other stakeholders through a conventional planning application.

Planning Enforcement and Ground G

This is where Ground G comes in. The enforcement appeal can be dismissed, but the Inspector can grant additional time under Ground G to enable the appellant and council to reach agreement on remedial works and secure retrospective planning permission.

This situation played out in a recent case of ours in High Wycombe for a case involving a 3 bedroom detached dwelling. We set out a clear range of arguments as to why the property should be permitted, but also suggested some amendments should the Inspector have concerns. The Inspector felt that some changes were required and that they warranted scrutiny from neighbours via a conventional application. So, whilst the appeal was dismissed he provided a further 8 months for the appellant to secure the necessary planning consent. It was a pragmatic and sensible decision by the Inspector, and epitomises the goal of enforcement as being remedial rather than punitive.

Contact us to see how we can help you with planning enforcement

We handle a high volume of enforcement work.  If you are subject to an enforcement investigation then it is vital that you do not ignore it as, once an enforcement notice takes effect, your options become very limited.

Please contact us should you be faced with a planning enforcement investigation via Our team of experienced planners can advise you of how we can best assist and prepare a no obligation quote for our services. We look forward to helping you.