At ULA Solicitors we are able to help individuals who find themselves in trouble with their local authority.

Most individuals are unaware that breaching planning control may be a criminal offence. The typical examples in which the local authority would prosecute individuals for breaching planning control are:

1. Where one erects, extends or alters a building without planning permission.
2. Where the use of a building or site has changed without planning permission or does not comply with a planning condition.
3. Where work is conducted on a building that does not comply with the approved plans or is in breach of a condition of the planning consent or permission.

These offences will apply to the builder and the person instructing them. If an individual is prosecuted for these offences, their case may be tried in either the Magistrates' Court or the Crown Courts and can lead to fines and up to 24 months imprisonment in the Crown court.

Sometimes the local authority may not prosecute but may serve:

1. A temporary stop notice, which renders the individual incapable of conducting work on the building for 28 days, failure to comply can result in a prosecution.
2. A court injunction, failure to comply results in a penalty.
3. An enforcement notice, failure to comply can result in a prosecution.
4. A breach of condition notice, again failure to comply can result in a prosecution.

POCA and Planning Offences:
Local planning authorities can issue proceeds of crime proceedings on individuals in breach of planning conditions particularly when it comes to ongoing offences and persistent offenders. They can retain 37.5% of the confiscated sum and hence it is an attractive proposition for them.

The Local Authority will consider a POCA application which is dealt with in the Crown Court if there is at last 6 months of continuing offences and assets which can be realised such as property.

One should note that failure to pay the ordered sum will result in a prison sentence.

Hence if you have an issues such as the above, with your local authority, get in touch or complete our enquiry form and email this in to

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