Planning Enforcement

Few of us want to experience the unpleasant feeling or hassle of receiving an Enforcement Notice or a Planning Contravention Notice (PCN). The local planning enforcement team, working for the local council, will send notice when they have reason to believe that building operations or the use of land has taken place without the correct planning permission in place.

The notice will tell you that you need to stop or modify the current works or use, which can require the removal of expensive building operations, or for the use of land or buildings to stop, potentially restricting your income or livelihood.

The first thing to do is try not to panic, but do not ignore the enforcement notice. Usually, you have just 21-28 days from the date the notice is served on which to respond.
Many enforcement cases can be resolved by talking to the Council, but sometimes they need to be challenged at appeal.

Please speak to us, we can carry out a free review of your case and using our years of extensive expertise, advise on your best next steps.

Enforcement Time Restrictions

Enforcement in Planning is a serious matter and arises in situations where there is a breach of planning control.  In deciding to take Enforcement Action, Local Planning Authorities have a range of powers to exercise, which should be used in a proportionate way, in the public interest

The Local Planning Authority has time limits for taking enforcement action, these are:

  • 4 years for “substantial completion” for a breach resulting in operational development (i.e. building works).
  • 4 years for an unauthorised change of use to a single dwelling house.
  • 10 years for any other breach of planning control (essentially other changes of use or breach of planning condition).
  • In the case of unauthorised works to listed buildings, there is no time limit.

In exercising the powers, any Local Planning Authorities will typically invite a planning application to be submitted to regularise the situation in the first instance, before moving onto using other powers.

We never charge for that initial conversation and investigation into your site or development and we always give you a free initial assessment of your chances of success.

Contact us for your free initial assessment

Why Choose Us?

Our focus is the successful resolution of the breach.

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Open, honest and frank advice.

Ability to work at speed whilst focusing on the detail.

We are here to support you and help you navigate the enforcement process. Whatever the origins of the breach, it is essential that you have the right advice to allow you to make the right decisions to resolve the enforcement action. We will provide you with that advice.

Where there is an Enforcement Notice to be dealt with, we will give you the benefit of our detailed technical understanding of all aspects of the planning system, to seek a resolution, appealing to the Planning Inspectorate if necessary.

Resolving enforcement matters is also a question of diplomacy, we fully appreciate that this is a stressful time for all involved and by focusing on maintaining an open and constructive dialogue with Officers, it can take some of the stress away, allowing decisions to be made with a clear mind.

Retail & Public Sector

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We help deliver vital public infrastructure to help build stronger communities.

We work with various public sector partners, including local government, Town and Parish Councils and County Councils, to guide important infrastructure projects through the planning process. Taking a collaborative approach with councils and communities helps us understand all parties' needs and deliver the projects required.


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A thriving economy is reliant on a buoyant commercial sector - we help deliver the permissions companies need.

We have comprehensive experience in promoting commercial sites for different uses across a diverse range of locations and overcoming a variety of scenarios. Our approach and expertise seek to understand and address environmental and social factors to maintain the integrity of our clients while ensuring the timely delivery of projects.

Residential Development

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We get results on a wide range of development projects – from single homes up to strategic sites.

Our expertise in supporting development projects from single homes up to strategic sites allows us to work on one of the biggest challenges the UK experiences; delivering housing to meet demand. We take an innovative, collaborative and strategic approach to sites in developed and undeveloped areas, including those that are allocated for homes and others in the promotion phase.

Health Care

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We help put in place the amenities that support communities and provide much needed medical care for our population.

We work with care providers on projects helping them implement or improve infrastructure in order to provide the very best medical facilities for the community. Experience shows us that a collaborative approach is required to understand the needs and desires of all interested parties and to achieve the best outcome.

Rural & Estates

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We are proud of our record in the rural economy and our role in the countryside.

Our expertise includes offering advice on agricultural development, diversification and redevelopment projects for rural clients and estate managers. We have experience working with agricultural advisors and agents, giving us valuable links and insight into the community. Our membership of the CLA, AVA and support for the RAU is invaluable to our work.

Private Client

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We guide our private clients through the planning system to realise their hopes and dreams.

Our highly experienced consultants offer their expertise and discretion to guide private clients to realise their hopes and dreams. We take the time to get to know our clients and work out how to achieve their project ambitions on time and on budget.

Home Owner

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Create the home you want and need

We work with homeowners and their architects or designers to offer comprehensive support in obtaining planning permission for their home modifications, extensions or outbuildings; an area particularly popular with the increased numbers of people choosing to work from home in recent years.

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Our clients

Our focus is our clients, delivery results and building lasting relationships. Since our foundation in 2009, we’ve worked with a breadth of clients that stretch from individuals realising a development aspiration to FTSE 100 listed companies with dedication to our client’s needs at the core of every engagement.


Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out how we can help you please get in touch