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(3) The amendments made by subsections (1) and (2) cease to have effect at the end
of 7 years beginning with the day on which the inserted section 61W(1) comes
fully into force, but this is subject to subsection (4).

(4) The Secretary of State may by order provide that the amendments are, instead
5of ceasing to have effect at the time they would otherwise cease to have effect,
to cease to have effect at the end of a period of not more than 7 years from that
time.

CHAPTER 5 Enforcement

111 Retrospective planning permission

(1) 10The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is amended as follows.

(2) After section 70B insert—

70C Power to decline to determine retrospective application

A local planning authority in England may decline to determine an
application for planning permission for the development of any land if
15granting planning permission for the development would involve
granting, whether in relation to the whole or any part of the land to
which an enforcement notice relates, planning permission in respect of
the whole or any part of the matters specified in the enforcement notice
as constituting a breach of planning control.

(3) 20In section 78(2)(aa) (which refers to an authority not having given notice that it
has exercised its power under section 70A or 70B to decline to determine an
application) after “or 70B” insert “or 70C”.

(4) In section 174 (appeal against enforcement notice) after subsection (2) insert—

(2A) An appeal may not be brought on the ground specified in subsection
25(2)(a) if—

(a) the land to which the enforcement notice relates is in England,
and

(b) the enforcement notice was issued at a time—

(i) after the making of a related application for planning
30permission, but

(ii) before the end of the period applicable under section
78(2) in the case of that application.

(2B) An application for planning permission for the development of any
land is, for the purposes of subsection (2A), related to an enforcement
35notice if granting planning permission for the development would
involve granting planning permission in respect of the matters
specified in the enforcement notice as constituting a breach of planning
control.

(5) In section 177 (grant or modification of planning permission on appeals against

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enforcement notice) after subsection (1B) insert—

(1C) If the land to which the enforcement notice relates is in England,
subsection (1)(a) applies only if the statement under section 174(4)
specifies the ground mentioned in section 174(2)(a).

(6) 5In section 177(5) (deemed application for planning permission where appeal
brought against enforcement notice) for the words from the beginning to “the
appellant” substitute—

Where an appeal against an enforcement notice is brought under
section 174 and—

(a) 10the land to which the enforcement notice relates is in Wales, or

(b) that land is in England and the statement under section 174(4)
specifies the ground mentioned in section 174(2)(a),

the appellant.

112 Time limits for enforcing concealed breaches of planning control

(1) 15In the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 after section 171B insert—

171BA Time limits in cases involving concealment

(1) Where it appears to the local planning authority that there may have
been a breach of planning control in respect of any land in England, the
authority may apply to a magistrates’ court for an order under this
20subsection (a “planning enforcement order”) in relation to that
apparent breach of planning control.

(2) If a magistrates’ court makes a planning enforcement order in relation
to an apparent breach of planning control, the local planning authority
may take enforcement action in respect of—

(a) 25the apparent breach, or

(b) any of the matters constituting the apparent breach,

at any time in the enforcement year.

(3) “The enforcement year” for a planning enforcement order is the year
that begins at the end of 22 days beginning with the day on which the
30court’s decision to make the order is given, but this is subject to
subsection (4).

(4) If an application under section 111(1) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act
1980 (statement of case for opinion of High Court) is made in respect of
a planning enforcement order, the enforcement year for the order is the
35year beginning with the day on which the proceedings arising from
that application are finally determined or withdrawn.

(5) Subsection (2)—

(a) applies whether or not the time limits under section 171B have
expired, and

(b) 40does not prevent the taking of enforcement action after the end
of the enforcement year but within those time limits.

171BB Planning enforcement orders: procedure

(1) An application for a planning enforcement order in relation to an
apparent breach of planning control may be made within the 6 months

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beginning with the date on which evidence of the apparent breach of
planning control sufficient in the opinion of the local planning
authority to justify the application came to the authority’s knowledge.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a certificate—

(a) 5signed on behalf of the local planning authority, and

(b) stating the date on which evidence sufficient in the authority’s
opinion to justify the application came to the authority’s
knowledge,

is conclusive evidence of that fact.

(3) 10A certificate stating that matter and purporting to be so signed is to be
deemed to be so signed unless the contrary is proved.

(4) Where the local planning authority apply to a magistrates’ court for a
planning enforcement order in relation to an apparent breach of
planning control in respect of any land, the authority must serve a copy
15of the application—

(a) on the owner and on the occupier of the land, and

(b) on any other person having an interest in the land that is an
interest which, in the opinion of the authority, would be
materially affected by the taking of enforcement action in
20respect of the apparent breach.

(5) The persons entitled to appear before, and be heard by, the court
hearing an application for a planning enforcement order in relation to
an apparent breach of planning control in respect of any land include—

(a) the applicant,

(b) 25any person on whom a copy of the application was served
under subsection (4), and

(c) any other person having an interest in the land that is an interest
which, in the opinion of the court, would be materially affected
by the taking of enforcement action in respect of the apparent
30breach.

(6) In this section “planning enforcement order” means an order under
section 171BA(1).

171BC Making a planning enforcement order

(1) A magistrates’ court may make a planning enforcement order in
35relation to an apparent breach of planning control only if—

(a) the court is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the
apparent breach, or any of the matters constituting the apparent
breach, has (to any extent) been deliberately concealed by any
person or persons, and

(b) 40the court considers it just to make the order having regard to all
the circumstances.

(2) A planning enforcement order must—

(a) identify the apparent breach of planning control to which it
relates, and

(b) 45state the date on which the court’s decision to make the order
was given.

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(3) In this section “planning enforcement order” means an order under
section 171BA(1).

(2) In section 188 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (register of
enforcement and stop notices)—

(a) 5in subsection (1) (matters to which registers apply) before paragraph (a)
insert—

(za) to planning enforcement orders,,

(b) in subsection (2)(a) (development order may make provision about
removal of entries from register)—

(i) 10before “enforcement notice” insert “planning enforcement
order,”,

(ii) before “any such notice” insert “any planning enforcement
order or”, and

(iii) after “specified in the” insert “development”,

(c) 15in subsection (2)(b) (development order may make provision about
supply of information by county planning authority) after “served by”
insert “, and planning enforcement orders made on applications made
by,”,

(d) after subsection (3) insert—

(4) 20In this section “planning enforcement order” means an order
under section 171BA(1)., and

(e) in the heading after “and stop notices” insert “and other enforcement
action”.

(3) In section 191 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (certificate of
25lawfulness of existing use or development) after subsection (3) insert—

(3A) In determining for the purposes of this section whether the time for
taking enforcement action in respect of a matter has expired, that time
is to be taken not to have expired if—

(a) the time for applying for an order under section 171BA(1) (a
30“planning enforcement order”) in relation to the matter has not
expired,

(b) an application has been made for a planning enforcement order
in relation to the matter and the application has neither been
decided nor been withdrawn, or

(c) 35a planning enforcement order has been made in relation to the
matter, the order has not been rescinded and the enforcement
year for the order (whether or not it has begun) has not
expired.

113 Assurance as regards prosecution for person served with enforcement notice

40In the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 after section 172 (issue and service
of enforcement notice) insert—

172A Assurance as regards prosecution for person served with notice

(1) When, or at any time after, an enforcement notice is served on a person,
the local planning authority may give the person a letter—

(a) 45explaining that, once the enforcement notice had been issued,
the authority was required to serve the notice on the person,

(b) giving the person one of the following assurances—

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(i) that, in the circumstances as they appear to the
authority, the person is not at risk of being prosecuted
under section 179 in connection with the enforcement
notice, or

(ii) 5that, in the circumstances as they appear to the
authority, the person is not at risk of being prosecuted
under section 179 in connection with the matters
relating to the enforcement notice that are specified in
the letter,

(c) 10explaining, where the person is given the assurance under
paragraph (b)(ii), the respects in which the person is at risk of
being prosecuted under section 179 in connection with the
enforcement notice, and

(d) stating that, if the authority subsequently wishes to withdraw
15the assurance in full or part, the authority will first give the
person a letter specifying a future time for the withdrawal that
will allow the person a reasonable opportunity to take any steps
necessary to avoid any risk of prosecution that is to cease to be
covered by the assurance.

(2) 20At any time after a person has under subsection (1) been given a letter
containing an assurance, the local planning authority may give the
person a letter withdrawing the assurance (so far as not previously
withdrawn) in full or part from a time specified in the letter.

(3) The time specified in a letter given under subsection (2) to a person
25must be such as will give the person a reasonable opportunity to take
any steps necessary to avoid any risk of prosecution that is to cease to
be covered by the assurance.

(4) Withdrawal under subsection (2) of an assurance given under
subsection (1) does not withdraw the assurance so far as relating to
30prosecution on account of there being a time before the withdrawal
when steps had not been taken or an activity had not ceased.

(5) An assurance given under subsection (1) (so far as not withdrawn
under subsection (2)) is binding on any person with power to prosecute
an offence under section 179.

114 35Planning offences: time limits and penalties

(1) The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 187A(12) (maximum penalty of level 3 on standard scale for offence
of being in breach of a breach of condition notice) for “fine not exceeding level
3 on the standard scale” substitute fine—

(a) 40not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale if the land is in
England;

(b) not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale if the land is in
Wales.

(3) In section 210 (penalties for non-compliance with tree preservation
45regulations) after subsection (4) insert—

(4A) Proceedings for an offence under subsection (4) may be brought within
the period of 6 months beginning with the date on which evidence

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sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to justify the proceedings
came to the prosecutor’s knowledge.

(4B) Subsection (4A) does not authorise the commencement of proceedings
for an offence more than 3 years after the date on which the offence was
5committed.

(4C) For the purposes of subsection (4A), a certificate—

(a) signed by or on behalf of the prosecutor, and

(b) stating the date on which evidence sufficient in the prosecutor’s
opinion to justify the proceedings came to the prosecutor’s
10knowledge,

is conclusive evidence of that fact.

(4D) A certificate stating that matter and purporting to be so signed is to be
deemed to be so signed unless the contrary is proved.

(4E) Subsection (4A) does not apply in relation to an offence in respect of a
15tree in Wales.

(4) In section 224 (enforcement of control as to advertisements) after subsection (6)
insert—

(7) Proceedings for an offence under subsection (3) may be brought within
the period of 6 months beginning with the date on which evidence
20sufficient in the opinion of the prosecutor to justify the proceedings
came to the prosecutor’s knowledge.

(8) Subsection (7) does not authorise the commencement of proceedings
for an offence more than 3 years after the date on which the offence was
committed.

(9) 25For the purposes of subsection (7), a certificate—

(a) signed by or on behalf of the prosecutor, and

(b) stating the date on which evidence sufficient in the prosecutor’s
opinion to justify the proceedings came to the prosecutor’s
knowledge,

30is conclusive evidence of that fact.

(10) A certificate stating that matter and purporting to be so signed is to be
deemed to be so signed unless the contrary is proved.

(11) Subsection (7) does not apply in relation to an offence in respect of an
advertisement in Wales.

(5) 35An amendment made by this section applies only in relation to offences
committed after the amendment has come into force.

115 Powers in relation to: unauthorised advertisements; defacement of premises

(1) In Part 8 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (special controls) in
Chapter 3 (advertisements) after section 225 insert—

225A 40 Power to remove structures used for unauthorised display

(1) Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (5), the local planning authority for an
area in England may remove, and then dispose of, any display
structure—

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(a) which is in their area; and

(b) which, in the local planning authority’s opinion, is used for the
display of advertisements in contravention of regulations made
under section 220.

(2) 5Subsection (1) does not authorise the removal of a display structure in
a building to which there is no public right of access.

(3) The local planning authority may not under subsection (1) remove a
display structure unless the local planning authority have first served a
removal notice on a person who appears to the local planning authority
10to be responsible for the erection or maintenance of the display
structure.

(4) Subsection (3) applies only if there is a person—

(a) who appears to the local planning authority to be responsible
for the erection or maintenance of the display structure; and

(b) 15whose name and address are either known by the local
planning authority or could be ascertained by the local planning
authority after reasonable enquiry.

(5) If subsection (3) does not apply, the local planning authority may not
under subsection (1) remove a display structure unless the local
20planning authority have first—

(a) fixed a removal notice to the display structure or exhibited a
removal notice in the vicinity of the display structure; and

(b) served a copy of that notice on the occupier of the land on which
the display structure is situated.

(6) 25Subsection (5)(b) applies only if the local planning authority know who
the occupier is or could identify the occupier after reasonable enquiry.

(7) Where—

(a) the local planning authority has served a removal notice in
accordance with subsection (3) or (5)(b), and

(b) 30the display structure is not removed within the period specified
in the removal notice,

the local planning authority may recover, from any person on whom
the removal notice has been served under subsection (3) or (5)(b),
expenses reasonably incurred by the local planning authority in
35exercising the local planning authority’s power under subsection (1).

(8) Expenses are not recoverable under subsection (7) from a person if the
person satisfies the local planning authority that the person was not
responsible for the erection of the display structure and is not
responsible for its maintenance.

(9) 40Where in the exercise of power under subsection (1) any damage is
caused to land or chattels, compensation may be recovered by any
person suffering the damage from the local planning authority
exercising the power, but compensation is not recoverable under this
subsection or section 325(6)—

(a) 45for damage caused to the display structure; or

(b) for damage reasonably caused in removing the display
structure.

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(10) The provisions of section 118 apply in relation to compensation under
subsection (9) as they apply in relation to compensation under Part 4.

(11) In this section “removal notice”, in relation to a display structure,
means notice—

(a) 5stating that in the local planning authority’s opinion the display
structure is used for the display of advertisements in
contravention of regulations under section 220;

(b) stating that the local planning authority intend after a time
specified in the notice to remove the display structure; and

(c) 10stating the effect of subsections (7) and (8).

(12) A time specified under subsection (11)(b) may not be earlier than the
end of 22 days beginning with the date of the notice.

(13) In this section “display structure” means (subject to subsection (14))—

(a) a hoarding or similar structure used, or designed or adapted for
15use, for the display of advertisements;

(b) anything (other than a hoarding or similar structure)
principally used, or designed or adapted principally for use, for
the display of advertisements;

(c) a structure that is itself an advertisement; or

(d) 20fitments used to support anything within any of paragraphs (a)
to (c).

(14) Something is a “display structure” for the purpose of this section only
if—

(a) its use for the display of advertisement requires consent under
25this Chapter, and

(b) that consent has not been granted and is not deemed to have
been granted.

(15) In subsection (13) “structure” includes movable structure.

225B Remedying persistent problems with unauthorised advertisements

(1) 30Subsections (2) and (3) apply if the local planning authority for an area
in England have reason to believe that there is a persistent problem
with the display of unauthorised advertisements on a surface of—

(a) any building, wall, fence or other structure or erection; or

(b) any apparatus or plant.

(2) 35The local planning authority may serve an action notice on the owner
or occupier of the land in or on which the surface is situated.

(3) If after reasonable enquiry the local planning authority—

(a) are unable to ascertain the name and address of the owner, and

(b) are unable to ascertain the name and address of the occupier,

40the local planning authority may fix an action notice to the surface.

(4) For the purposes of this section “an action notice”, in relation to a
surface, is a notice requiring the owner or occupier of the land in or on
which the surface is situated to carry out the measures specified in the
notice by a time specified in the notice.

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(5) A time may be specified in an action notice if it is a reasonable time not
earlier than the end of 28 days beginning with the date of the notice.

(6) Measures may be specified in an action notice if they are reasonable
measures to prevent or reduce the frequency of the display of
5unauthorised advertisements on the surface concerned.

(7) The time by which an owner or occupier must comply with an action
notice may be postponed by the local planning authority.

(8) This section has effect subject to—

(a) the other provisions of the enactments relating to town and
10country planning;

(b) the provisions of the enactments relating to historic buildings
and ancient monuments; and

(c) Part 2 of the Food and Environmental Protection Act 1985
(which relates to deposits in the sea).

(9) 15Subsection (10) applies if—

(a) an action notice is served under subsection (2) or fixed under
subsection (3); and

(b) the measures specified in the notice are not carried out by the
time specified in the notice.

(10) 20The local planning authority may—

(a) carry out the measures; and

(b) recover expenses reasonably incurred by the local planning
authority in doing that from the person required by the action
notice to do it.

(11) 25Power under subsection (10)(a) is subject to the right of appeal under
section 225C.

(12) Where in the exercise of power under subsection (10)(a) any damage is
caused to land or chattels, compensation may be recovered by any
person suffering the damage from the local planning authority
30exercising the power, but compensation is not recoverable under this
subsection for damage reasonably caused in carrying out the measures.

(13) The provisions of section 118 apply in relation to compensation under
subsection (12) as they apply in relation to compensation under Part 4.

(14) The local planning authority may not recover expenses under
35subsection (10)(b) in respect of a surface that—

(a) forms part of a flat or a dwellinghouse;

(b) is within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse; or

(c) forms part of the boundary of the curtilage of a dwellinghouse.

(15) Each of sections 275 and 291 of the Public Health Act 1936 (provision
40for authority to agree to take the required measures at expense of
owner or occupier, and provision for expenses to be recoverable also
from owner’s successor or from occupier and to be charged on
premises concerned) applies as if the reference in that section to that
Act included a reference to this section.

(16) 45In this section—

225C Right to appeal against notice under section 225B

(1) A person on whom notice has been served under section 225B(2) may
15appeal to a magistrates’ court on any of the following grounds—

(a) that there is no problem with the display of unauthorised
advertisements on the surface concerned or any such problem
is not a persistent one;

(b) that there has been some informality, defect or error in, or in
20connection with, the notice;

(c) that the time within which the measures specified in the notice
are to be carried out is not reasonably sufficient for the purpose;

(d) that the notice should have been served on another person.

(2) The occupier or owner of premises which include a surface to which a
25notice has been fixed under section 225B(3) may appeal to a
magistrates’ court on any of the following grounds—

(a) that there is no problem with the display of unauthorised
advertisements on the surface concerned or any such problem
is not a persistent one;

(b) 30that there has been some informality, defect or error in, or in
connection with, the notice;

(c) that the time within which the measures specified in the notice
are to be carried out is not reasonably sufficient for the purpose.

(3) So far as an appeal under this section is based on the ground mentioned
35in subsection (1)(b) or (2)(b), the court must dismiss the appeal if it is
satisfied that the informality, defect or error was not a material one.

(4) If an appeal under subsection (1) is based on the ground mentioned in
subsection (1)(d), the appellant must serve a copy of the notice of
appeal on each person who the appellant considers is a person on
40whom the notice under section 225B(2) should have been served.

(5) If—

(a) notice under section 225B(2) is served on a person, and

(b) the local planning authority bring proceedings against the
person for the recovery under section 225B(10)(b) of any
45expenses,

it is not open to the person to raise in the proceedings any question
which the person could have raised in an appeal under subsection (1).

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