Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act enables local planning authorities (LPAs) to take steps requiring land or buildings to be cleaned up if their condition is deemed to adversely affect the amenity of the area in which they are situated. The mechanics of how the work is achieved vary from case to case, with some LPAs requiring the recipient to undertake the work whereas others carry it out themselves.
The scope of the works that can be required by virtue of a section 215 notice are wide ranging and can include tidying, clearance, planting, demolition, re-building, external repairs and repainting.
However, the act does not provide a definition of ‘amenity’. Under a report commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in 2005, LPAs were advised that what may be considered as ‘amenity’ in one area may not be deemed as such in another. Although the report sought to reassure LPAs that a well-constructed case would rarely be successfully appealed, the lack of a coherent approach to the issue remained a point of concern…
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