A formal enforcement notice will be served on the owner of the property along with any other party with a legal interest in the land or building in question. The enforcement notice will specify what action is required to 'right' the problem and will give a period for compliance.
The recipient of the enforcement notice has a minimum of 28 days to appeal against the notice to the Planning Inspectorate. Where an appeal is lodged, we can take no further action until the appeal has been decided. It's not unusual for the appeal process to take several months.
We'll always vigorously defend any appeal but if it's allowed (i.e. if the appellant wins), we can take no further action. If it's dismissed however, the enforcement notice will take effect, although the planning inspector can amend its requirements, including the period for compliance.
It's a criminal offence not to comply with the notice and could lead to prosecution. However, such action does require evidence to prove the offence is being committed by a named individual or company ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Collecting this evidence can sometimes be a lengthy and time-consuming exercise and in some cases pre-trial delays may be unavoidable.