The Planning Enforcement Team aims to make sure that building work, changes of use, signs and the condition of property are acceptable and/or have the right sort of planning permission.

Follow the links below to read more about Planning Enforcement Team matters.

If you would like to make a complaint regarding a potential breach in planning control you will need to fully complete and submit an enforcement complaint form in this section.

Breaches of planning control by the undertaking of development without permission, or failure to comply with a condition or limitation which are not resolved by negotiation or application, may result in the Local Planning Authority having to take formal enforcement action against a breach of control.

The decision to issue an Enforcement Notice can be taken under Delegated Powers or by the Planning Committee. If an Enforcement Notice is deemed to be necessary, certain steps will be specified within the Notice requiring the recipient(s) to remedy the breach. Failure to comply with an Enforcement Notice is an offence that can result in the prosecution of the recipient(s) and/or the Council can take direct action and place a charge on the land or property. In any prosecution of non-compliance with an Enforcement Notice it is a defence for the recipient(s) to show that they did everything that they could be expected to, to secure compliance to the Notice. There is a right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against a Notice that would effectively suspend the Notice while the appeal was being determined.

Planning Permission is often granted subject to conditions, for example requiring a landscaping scheme to be carried out. If the condition is not complied with, as an alternative to an ordinary Enforcement Notice, a Breach of Condition notice can be served.

Further details on Condition Notices and how breaches of planning control are dealt can be found here.

Where the Local Planning Authority suspect a breach of Planning Control they may serve a Planning Contravention Notice. Such a Notice takes the form of a questionnaire that must be completed and returned to the Local Planning Authority within 21 days of receipt. The completed Contravention Notice will often enable a decision to be taken as to whether there has been a breach of Planning Control. It is an offence to fail to comply with the requirements of a Planning Contravention Notice or knowingly make a false or misleading statement.

If the Local Planning Authority considers that the condition of land or buildings is having a harmful effect on the area they may serve a Notice under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The Notice may require certain steps to be undertaken by the owner of the land to remedy its condition. Failure to comply with a Section 215 Notice is an offence that could be the subject of a prosecution. In addition, the Local Planning Authority have the power to enter the land, carry out the work and charge the cost of such work to the landowner, which may also involve a financial charge on the land. There is the right of appeal to the courts against such notices.

A best practice guide to Section 215 Notices can be found here.

In extreme cases the Local Planning Authority may issue a Stop Notice in conjunction with an Enforcement Notice requiring the unauthorised activities to cease before the Enforcement Notice becomes fully effective.

Under certain circumstances a Temporary Stop Notice may be served when there has been a breach of planning control and the Council think that it is essential that the activity is stopped immediately. The Notice ceases to have effect after 28 days. A Temporary Stop Notice cannot be issued in respect of certain categories of development including the use of a building as a dwelling house or a caravan where that caravan is the main place of residence of the occupier of the caravan.

Furthermore, it is an offence to fail to comply with a Stop Notice.

Injunctions can be sought in the County Court or High Court to restrain any actual, or expected, breach of planning control.

It must be stressed that this course of action may be taken on its own or in conjunction with one of the Notices mentioned above. Such action should only be used in extreme cases.

There is no formal definition of fly-posting. However, it is generally taken to be the display of advertising material on buildings and street furniture, such as lamp posts, without the consent of the owner.

The legislation surrounding a local authority’s powers are complex, but the two methods of securing the removal of fly-posting is either a prosecution or the removal of the poster by the local authority. Other powers are available for example, under the Highways Act, but this is administered by East Sussex County Council.