Most farmers will probably never come into contact with planning enforcement, but I have had two new instructions to assist with enforcement cases on farmland in the last couple of weeks. In both cases I have brought in planning consultants as well, so that we can present the best possible arguments at the forthcoming Planning Enforcement Appeals.
Essentially you only have two options if you are in receipt of an Enforcement Notice (EN) – obey it, or appeal. If you don’t do either and just ignore it, you will be prosecuted, and then it becomes a criminal offence. So, it’s serious.
In both these cases, the Appeals may or may not be successful. The results of both are very important financially for the two clients involved, but ideally, they should never have got themselves into this position in the first place.
A further matter that frequently trips people up is the fact that if you start work without permission you cannot then do the works via the prior approval (28-day notice) process. If you have started without permission, and the planners spot your works going on and challenge you, you then have to apply for full planning permission. And then you may not obtain it, leading to all sorts of problems.
The moral of this tale is that if you are thinking of doing some building work on your farm, do ask someone knowledgeable whether planning permission or ‘prior notice’ approval is required, before you start digging. On all specialist planning permission matters contact Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org