It is a common misconception that planning enforcement notices, that is notices served by the local planning authority to remedy a breach of planning control, are discharged by compliance. It seems perfectly reasonable to assume that a notice requiring the removal of UPVC windows would be satisfied once the offending windows had been removed. However, this is not the case, the notice remains valid and is ‘revived’ if the breach re-occurs.

Why is this an issue? The enforcement notice remains on the land charges register and will be disclosed by a local authority search. This could cause problems on a sale or finance of the property in question as any well advised purchaser or bank will insist on the notice being removed.

How can the notice be removed from the land charges register? There are two ways. Firstly, you can write to the local planning authority and ask them to confirm that the enforcement notice has been complied with. Or, you can apply for a certificate of lawfulness of existing use or development.

If you would like more information, please speak to Emma Foster of Druces LLP’s Property team.

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