If a Decision Notice is breached, an Enforcement Notice will be required and this can add a further six months to the overall time frame before a prosecution can be brought by the Legal Services Department.

The Local Planning Authority does not have discretion over how long it takes for a case to proceed through each stage of the formal enforcement process. If any of these time frames have been exceeded before a Prosecuting Authority is instructed, you will be advised of this and asked to confirm that you wish to continue with your case.

This does not affect your rights to Appeal and right to take a private prosecution against the defendant, but it may mean that without additional evidence being submitted there would be insufficient evidence for a successful prosecution. There are Minor as well as Major Breaches as well.

What is the time limit for Planning Breach Report?

When you receive a Planning Breach Report, please check it carefully and provide any relevant information as soon as possible. This will help speed up the formal enforcement action by limiting the period of time you will have to respond.

The Breach Report form must be fully completed and a copy returned within 14 days in the case of simple non-compliances or 21 days if the breach is considered more complex. If it is clear from the information provided that no further evidence is required, this can normally be dealt with by our Enforcement Officer without the need to refer it for approval by a higher authority.

Pre-Enforcement Consultation

Please note this does not apply to breaches of condition or other circumstances where formal enforcement action is unlikely to lead to prosecution. If you do not wish to make any comments on non-compliance, please write ‘No Comment’ on your Breach Report form and return it to the Enforcement Team.

If you do not respond to a Breach Report and the council take no further steps on the case within six months, this will be considered as an indication that you do not wish to pursue your case and it would then be closed.

Breach of Condition or Site Visit Reports

You can ask for copies of these reports at any time during the process. It will take a minimum of six months from receiving a Breach Report before the LPA can confirm that formal enforcement action is likely to be taken.

A major consideration for this time frame is whether there are sufficient resources within Enforcement to progress the case effectively and within an acceptable timescale.

There may be cases where it becomes clear that formal enforcement action is not appropriate. If this happens, you will be advised in writing.

Why the Breach Report has been issued?

This Breach Report has been issued because you have not taken steps to resolve a non-compliance. Your non-compliance could have been dealt with informally at an earlier stage, but this did not happen.

You should provide any comments or evidence you have about the non-compliance within 14 days to avoid formal enforcement action being taken. This Breach Report can be issued by Enforcement Officers but does not need to be approved by a higher authority.
Please note that if you do not reply within 14 days, this will be considered as an indication that you do not wish to pursue your case and it would then be closed.

This Breach Report is therefore a final warning before formal enforcement action is taken unless there are additional circumstances that indicate why the breach should be dealt with informally.

 

Formal enforcement action will be taken within 100 days of receipt of this Breach Report unless the Local Planning Authority hears from you and take no further steps on the case. If the non-compliance is not resolved the council may issue a Notice of Seeking Possession. If you want to pursue this matter, please reply within 14 days.

You should be aware that they may contact third parties such as your neighbours or the police for additional information and advice before the Council make any decision about formal enforcement action.

This will not affect your rights to take a private prosecution but it could mean there would be insufficient evidence for a successful prosecution if the case were taken to court.