Our Planning Enforcement Team investigates complaints about alleged unauthorised developments and monitors planning permissions and conditions for compliance.
The Government's advice on Enforcing Planning Control is out in the National Planning Policy Framework (This link will open in a new window) paragraph 207.
It should be noted that Article 3 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 ("the Order") makes provision for certain relatively minor forms of development and changes of use to be carried out without the need to apply formally to the Council for express planning permission. This does not, however, circumvent the need for approval under the Building Regulations (whether from the Council or private inspectors) or other property rights such as leases, covenants or Party Wall obligations.
The list of "permitted developments" as they are referred to, is set out in Schedule 2 of the Order which is amended from time to time. This clarifies the scope of such exemptions from seeking planning permission and the limitations applicable. For example, developments within special areas, such as within an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty or a Conservation Area or in relation to a building listed as being of special architectural or historic interest may be subject to lesser size provisions or be excluded altogether where environmental assessment is required.
These "permitted developments" will not normally apply where
Article 4 of the Order also allows the Council, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State, to make a Direction withdrawing any Class of "permitted development" if it considers that it should not be carried out unless express permission is granted for it following an application. These "Article 4 Directions" generally seek to protect areas from sporadic, fragmented or un-coordinated developments for amenity reasons. For example, where land is sub-divided for sale in small plots, the vendor sometimes gives the impression that these plots may be developed in some way, such as for housing or leisure purposes. Unfortunately such development is rarely likely to be acceptable, as the application of Green Belt and other landscape protection policies restrict new building or intense recreational uses, except in very special circumstances. You are strongly advised, especially before handing over any money, to check with the Council what the constraints are and whether you would be likely to be allowed to develop the land in the way you wish.
"Article 4 Directions" usually seek to control the erection of certain structures; enclosure with fences; the formation of vehicular access; laying on of services such as water or electricity; and temporary uses such as motor sports or markets. To see if land you are interested in is subject to this control you can look at the on-line Localview mapping system.
Sometimes farmers and landowners are approached to allow commercial advertising boards to be erected in open countryside or next to main roads. Such advertising can be regarded as visually intrusive and a danger to motorists, especially alongside Motorways. Anyone who displays an advertisement, or uses an advertisement site, or knowingly permits someone else to do so, without prior consent required for it is acting illegally and is immediately open to prosecution by the Council in the Magistrates Court. Fly-posting without the consent of the owner of the land is also an offence liable to prosecution and possible fine. Temporary signs erected along the highway or on street furniture without approval will be removed by the County Council.
Because of the complexity of the legislation and interpretation of these various controls you are strongly urged to make enquiries of our planning department, including the formal determination of a Proposed Lawful Development Certificate where necessary, before proceeding with any works which you believe do not require prior planning permission. Failing this, you may be subject to investigation and possible enforcement action.
For further information please contact Planning Enforcement on 01883 732711 or e-mail email@example.com
Or write to us at:
Tandridge District Council
8 Station Road East
Oxted RH8 0BT
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