This PPG introduces new and improved enforcement powers given to local planning authorities (LPAs) by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991. The note outlines the general approach to enforcement, including the primary responsibility of LPAs in the matter and the decisive issue of whether a breach of planning control would unacceptably affect public amenity or the existing use of land and buildings meriting protection in the public interest.
Trivial or technical breaches causing no harm should not attract enforcement action, it says, but negotiations over remedial action should not delay enforcement where it is appropriate.
Innovations include the power to issue a 'planning contravention notice' requiring information about land use, a 'breach of condition notice' procedure, the ability to seek a court injunction to restrain any breach and the power to serve a ‘stop notice’ to prevent the use of land as a caravan site.
There are also increased powers of entry on to land for council officials to obtain information about breaches and higher penalties for enforcement offences. (Original release date December 1991)