Planning Circular 10/2009: Planning Enforcement

Policy on the use of enforcement powers in planning.

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1. Section 179 of the 1997 Act provides planning authorities with the power to serve a notice on the owner, lessee or occupier of land in their area, the condition of which they consider to be adversely affecting the amenity of the area. Such notices may require specified steps to be taken for the abatement of the injury to the amenity.

2. A copy of the notice has to be served on the owner, lessee or occupier of the land. The notice must specify the date on which it will take effect. This must be at least 28 days, taken from the date on which the notice is served.

3. The planning authority may withdraw a notice at any time before it takes effect (without prejudice to its power to serve another notice) by serving notice of the withdrawal on every recipient of the original notice.

4. A notice under section 179 cannot be issued with reference to any building which is designated as an ancient monument (section.179 (5)).

5. Where a notice is not complied with, the planning authority has the power to take direct action under section 135. There is however no power for the planning authority to take other action such as seeking prosecution or issuing a fixed penalty notice. It is also important to note that issuing a notice under section 179 does not constitute taking enforcement action as defined in section 123(2).

6. Under section 181, planning authorities are required to maintain a register of notices issued under section 179

7. Although the service of a notice does not constitute taking enforcement action, the revised appeal procedures set out in Regulations 5 & 6 of the Town and Country Planning (Enforcement of Control) (No. 2) (Scotland) Regulations 1992 (as amended by The Town and Country Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2009) also apply to appeals against these notices. In particular, this means that an appellant must observe the time limit for submitting the appeal statement. Regulation 7 also applies the requirements for registration of these notices under Section 181.

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