Christine has previously posted an informative blog focusing on the new provisions in the Localism Act 2011 on the enforcement of breaches of planning control. We now have confirmation that these provisions will come into force in England & Wales on 6 April 2012.
There are transitional provisions in place. The key point to note here is that for any breaches of planning control which occurred prior to 6 April 2012 and for which the current 4/10 year time limits for the local authority to take enforcement action have expired before 6 April 2012, the new enforcement provisions on concealed breaches will not apply.
In addition, in relation to retrospective planning permissions, if an enforcement notice has already been issued before 6 April 2012, then an appeal against the enforcement notice can still be made on the ground in S174(2)(a) (that planning permission ought to be granted) even if a retrospective application has already been submitted. Further, where an enforcement notice has been issued and appealed before 6 April 2012, the local authority has no power to decline to determine a subsequent application for retrospective consent for the development referred to in the enforcement notice.
It looks like the 6 April 2012 is going to be a key date in the planning law calendar and we will be preparing further blogs and a briefing highlighting exactly what is going on. Look out tomorrow for our blog on Neighbourhood Planning developments…