Three months’ hard labour

Another appeal case, this time relating to stables in Lancashire (DCS Number 400-024-650), further illustrates the point made in Be reasonable that the period for compliance with enforcement notices must not be unreasonable.

The alleged breach of planning control was “without the benefit of planning permission, engineering operations comprising the formation of an area of hardstanding facilitated by the importation of stone materials and the excavation and levelling of another area of the land”. Restoration of the site to a grassed field was required within three months.

The appellant’s case, the inspector recorded, was that the shifting of base stone was labour intensive, the land steep, not readily accessible by vehicles, and access was weather-dependant. Given the timing of the appeal, the inspector was mindful that the period for compliance would extend over the winter months. He agreed that the sloping nature of the site would make access with machinery difficult. He was not persuaded that it would be necessary to extend the period for compliance to six months but did consider that extending it to a period of four months would be sufficient to enable the material to be moved and the land to be reinstated.

Section 4.5361 of DCP Online concerns the period of compliance with enforcement notices.