New Enforcement Changes Take Effect on 25th April 2024

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In October 2023, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act received Royal Assent. On 2nd April 2024, secondary legislation has been enacted, specifically addressing the Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No. 8) and Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023 (Commencement No. 4 and Transitional Provisions). In simple terms, this means that changes to enforcement procedures are set to come into effect on 25th April 2024. The changes to the regulatory amendments are summarised below. It is worth noting that there are a number of transitional provisions associated with each of the regulations.

Section 103 (Temporary Stop Notices to Listed Buildings)

The Local Planning Authority (LPA) will be empowered to issue temporary stop notices for up to 56 days, if they have reason to believe that construction is taking place on a listed building without listed building consent, or in breach of a condition set out on a listed building consent.

Section 115 (Time Limits for Enforcement)                                 

The current four-year time period for ‘operational development’ and the ‘change of building use to a single dwellinghouse’ to be immune from enforcement action will be increased to ten-years. The time period in which LPAs can take enforcement action against unauthorised development for all planning control breaches in England will now be ten years. The limit will be remain four years in Wales.

As part of transitional measures, this change will not apply if the operational development was substantially completed before 25th April 2024; or the change of use to a dwelling occurred before 25th April 2024. In the above circumstances, the time limit would remain subject to the previous four-year rule. It is important to note that the provisions regarding ‘deliberate concealment’ will remain in effect and enable deadlines for enforcement to be taken to be extended.

Section 116 (Duration of Temporary Stop Notices)

The duration of temporary stop notices in England will increase. As of 25th April 2024, temporary stop notices will be able to prevent operations taking place on a site for a period of 56 days, increased from 28 days. This will not affect any temporary stop notices that have already been issued and not withdrawn before 25th April 2024.

Section 117 (Enforcement Warning Notices)

LPAs will have the authority to issue an Enforcement Warning Notice upon detecting a potential breach of planning control. If an application is not submitted within the designated timeframe, the LPA is authorised to pursue additional enforcement measures. This is considered to formalise the process between Planning Contravention Notices (PCN) and Enforcement Notices.

Section 118 (Restriction on Appeals Against Enforcement Notices)

The ability for a person to lodge an appeal against an enforcement notice issued in England on ground “(a)“…planning permission ought to be granted or that the condition or limitation imposed on the grant of permission ought to be discharged” will be reduced. Obtaining retrospective planning permission will be more challenging as it will not be permitted to appeal against an enforcement notice if permission was previously refused for the relevant development within the past two years. This will not apply to appeals against enforcement notices that were made and not withdrawn before 25th April 2024.

Section 119 (Undue Delays in Appeals)

The Planning Inspectorate (in England) will be empowered to dismiss appeals against enforcement notices and appeals relating to certificate of lawfulness, on the grounds of undue delay by the appellant in progressing the appeal. This is not applicable to appeals against enforcement notices or certificate of lawfulness that were made before 25th April 2024.

Section 120 (Penalties for Non-Compliance)

The financial penalties for a range of planning enforcement offences will increase. The increased fines will only apply to offences committed after 25th April 2024.

Section 122 (Consultation before Applying for Planning Permission)

The previous temporary authority to arrange pre-application consultations will become permanent.

Section 124 (Powers as to Form and Content of Planning Applications)

This allows the Secretary of State to establish regulations mandating or permitting planning applications and related documents to be submitted electronically or in alignment with specific electronic standards.

Any questions about the above changes? Get in touch!

The Firstplan team are always happy to advise clients on the implications of the new enforcement changes and what this can mean for you. Our team can be reached on


Article prepared by Charlie Wan