Veale Wasbrough Vizards

UK 200 2013 position: 98

A sobering lesson in planning enforcement

By Polly Reynolds

The recent Court of Appeal case of Ahmed v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2014] EWCA Civ 566 offers a sobering lesson for local planning authorities on the need to consider all of the fallback options before issuing an enforcement notice.

The London Borough of Hackney issued a planning enforcement notice in respect of a property on Stoke Newington High Street, owned by Mr Ahmed. Planning permission had been granted in 2005 for a three-storey building on the site, with construction beginning in 2007 and completed in 2009. However, the building was not in accordance with the approved plans. Most notably, the building had four storeys rather than the three permitted.

The planning enforcement notice required Mr Ahmed to completely demolish the four-storey building…

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