What will my council do about unauthorised development?
Once we have established that a breach of planning control has taken place, we will consider whether enforcement action will be pursued. More details on this can be found on our 'How Can Planning Enforcement Help you?' page.
For those cases that we seek to regularise the breach of planning control, we will ask the owner to submit a planning application, or to stop the work they are doing or remove the unauthorised works.
Where we are unsuccessful, enforcement action will be taken such as the issuing of Enforcement Notices, Breach of Conditions Notices and Stop Notices.
Our Enforcement Team also take action under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to deal with run-down and derelict buildings.
Please complete this form if you think that development is taking place without planning permission or outside its conditions, or you wish to report a run-down and derelict building.
Enforcement Notices are legal documents that require certain action be taken to remedy a breach of planning control. They are issued where development has taken place without the correct planning permission.
The notice states what the breach of planning control is, the necessary steps to remedy the breach and the time period for compliance. Failure to comply with an Enforcement Notice makes the recipient liable for prosecution. The maximum fine for non-compliance with a valid Enforcement Notice is £20,000. There is a right to appeal Enforcement Notices through the Secretary of State.
Enforcement Notices can view viewed using our public access tool, under the Enforcement tab.
Issued where unauthorised works are proceeding, a Stop Notice requires that work or use be immediately stopped. Stop Notices are issued in extreme circumstances in conjunction with an Enforcement Notice, requiring that all unauthorised activities cease before the Enforcement Notice becomes fully effective.
Stop Notices can view viewed using our public access tool, under the Enforcement tab.
Breach of Conditions Notices
Where planning permission has been issued subject to conditions, a Breach of Conditions Notice may be issued if any of the conditions are not complied with.
These notices offer a quicker means to remedy an undesirable situation and a failure to comply can lead to immediate prosecution without the right of appeal.
Breach of Condition Notices can view viewed using our public access tool, under the Enforcement tab.
Section 215 Notices
Section 215 of the Town and Country Act 1990 is a piece of legislation that allows us to take enforcement action where the poor condition of a building or piece of land is considered to be adversely affecting its surroundings. Our team use those powers to their fullest potential to force property owners to make significant and swift improvements to property.
Our Enforcement Team have earned the name 'Grotbusters' thanks to their work in this area, and the contribution they have made to the regeneration programme. Noticeable improvements have been made to many buildings in Hastings and St Leonards using Section 215 Notices.
S215 Notices can view viewed using our public access tool, under the Enforcement tab.
Certificates of Lawfulness
In certain circumstances, where development has been previously undertaken without the benefit of a formal planning permission and no action has been taken within a specified period (either 4 or 10 years depending on the form of development), an application can be made for a Lawful Use or Development Certificate. If granted, the unauthorised use or development becomes exempt from enforcement action.
A Certificate of Lawfulness can be applied for in the following circumstances:
- Where a building has been in use for a particular purpose for ten years (or four years for a self-contained single dwelling) or more without appropriate planning permission.
- Where an unauthorised building or buildings has been in existence for four years or more with no action being taken.
- The applicant must provide evidence that the use has been continuous and if satisfied we will issue a certificate. The Certificate of Lawfulness confirms that the use or development is lawful, and therefore prevents enforcement action being taken.
If you want to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness, you can start an Online Application :
Or you can download paper forms:
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