Do You have any Right to Appeal against any enforcement action?
YES!!! You have a right to appeal against any enforcement action taken by the Planning Enforcement, which is usually carried out by the Local Authority. This means you can challenge an enforcement notice or stop works order that has been issued for work that should not have been done in the first place under planning law. You can also challenge a failure to comply with planning conditions on a planning permission.
You must apply to the First-tier Tribunal within 6 weeks from when you were served the enforcement notice or stop works order otherwise it will no longer be possible for you to have your case heard by an independent tribunal. Although Enforcement Notices tend to take time.
Even if this time limit has expired, you may still have the chance to try and persuade an Inspector at a hearing that your reasons for not appealing earlier are valid. This is known as applying ‘out of time‘. Avoid any breach of the Notice, or it will create an issue in the Appealing Process.
What are these rights?
Please note that these rights are not absolute, they are subject to your enforcement action being lawful.
So what are these rights? To recap – the main ones are:-
1. There is a right of appeal where you have not been given information about the enforcement decision within 2 weeks of it being made. This is known as an “Article 8” Notice of Enforcement Decision.
2 .Your appeal must be lodged within 28 days (4 weeks) of service of the enforcement notice and you cannot make an application to the Planning Inspectorate until the local authority has determined your case.
As a general rule, if you make representations to the local authority they have 2 months in which to consider them and either uphold or reverse their decision or notify you that they will not do so and provide reasons for their decision not to do so; although this time limit can be extended by up to two further months with your agreement.
If this happens, then it is possible that the same matter could go through three different stages – i.e. The Article 8 Notice Stage (two weeks), The Representations stage (two months) and then the Review Stage (unlimited).
An Inspector at a planning inquiry can quash or modify an enforcement notice if it is found that it is wrong in law, has been incorrectly applied to you by the local authority, or if there were serious procedural irregularities.
If you have exhausted all possibilities of appeal through the Planning Inspectorate and are still not happy with the position, then you can ask for your case to be reviewed by a senior officer of the council who issued the enforcement notice. This is known as “Making a Complaint”.
However, you cannot do this until after you have received their decision on your representations. The time limit for this process is 2 months from when you receive that decision.
It is important to note that there are time limits for making an appeal. If you miss the deadline, then your right to challenge enforcement proceedings will be lost and you will not be able to get compensation if your loss is caused by the unauthorised work. The Planning Inspectorate or First-tier Tribunal can take into account serious hardship in deciding whether to extend any time limit but this is rare.