The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Planning—enforcement
  • Breach of planning control and enforcement action
  • Responsibility for enforcement action
  • Discretionary nature of enforcement action
  • Establishing whether breach of planning control has occurred
  • Enforcement time limits—considering whether immunity from enforcement can be established
  • Time limits for enforcement: Operations
  • Time limits for enforcement: change of use to a dwellinghouse
  • Time limits for enforcement: Other breaches of planning control
  • Time limits for enforcement: Demolition of unlisted building in a conservation area
  • More...

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak (see: Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on planning enforcement). For further updates on key developments and related practical guidance on the implications for lawyers, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Planning and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit.

Breach of planning control and enforcement action

For the purposes of Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990), a breach of planning control is subject to enforcement action. For these purposes, a breach of planning control means:

  1. carrying out development without the required planning permission—this inherently requires that unauthorised operations or a material change of use which constitute development within the meaning of TCPA 1990, s 55 have occurred, and that planning permission is required for that development and not been obtained. In deciding whether a breach of planning control has occurred within this context, the guidance and case law concerned with the meaning of ‘development’ will need to be followed, see Overview: Is planning permission required?

  2. failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted—this includes any of the limitations or conditions applied to individual permitted development rights in the Town and County Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, SI 2015/596

Responsibility for enforcement action

Responsibility for enforcing breaches of planning control is generally vested in the local

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