Newham Council issues more enforcement notices than almost any other council in the country. According to government planning statistics, the council issued a total of 382 notices in the year to September. This is the second highest in all of England, just behind the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, which issues a whopping 637.
In comparison, the average for England as a whole is just 13 notices.
And it looks like Newham intends to increase the rate at which it issues enforcement notices. According to the Newham Recorder, the council has just issued 300 notices to a long row of properties on Romford Road, a main road in the borough between Stratford and Ilford town centres.
According to the article, the move is part of the council’s linear gateway project, intended to improve the appearance of the main roads into town centres. The notices cover a whole range of alleged breaches of planning control, including advertisements, signage, canopies and other alterations.
And this is just the beginning, enforcement notices are being prepared for properties on Woodgrange Road, in Forest Gate, starting next month.
Councils have the power to issue enforcement notices where they suspect that development (including changes of use) have been carried out without planning permission. It is not an offence to carry out development without consent, but failing to comply with an enforcement notice can result in court action and a fine of up to £20,000. It may also mean that works carried out without permission must be reversed. Demolishing an extension is every householder’s worst nightmare.
Councils differ in their approach to enforcement notices. Some have developed a culture of taking rapid and immediate action. According to the Newham Planning Enforcement Policy, enforcement notices can be issued in as little as 14 days. Others take a different approach. A number of councils encourage the submission of retrospective planning applications (to regularise the breach of planning control) or attempt to nudge, persuade and cajole property owners to reverse or alter a development without resorting to formal enforcement action. Some councils take a very relaxed approach to the whole process, and may frequently turn a blind eye to all but the more flagrant breaches of planning control.
Just Planning is an enforcement appeals specialist
We help homeowners and developers who are facing enforcement action. We can enter into discussions with council planning officers, prepare and submit applications and submit appeals against enforcement notices. If you are served with an enforcement notice, time is of the essence. You usually only have 28 days to appeal – failing to an appeal means that the notice takes effect. Have a look at our planning enforcement page for more details on the specific services we provide.
Check out the video below for more advice on enforcement notices.