Hatfield, Emma (2013) “A sledge hammer to crack a small nut.” An analysis of Section 124 of the Localism Act 2011. The Conveyancer and Property Lawyer (1). pp. 48-60. ISSN 0010-8200

On the 6th April 2012, Part 6 Chapter 5 of the Localism Act 2011 (“the Localism Act”) came into force. Section 124 gave Local Planning Authorities (“LPAs”) the power to apply to the Magistrates Court to take planning enforcement action outside of the normal four and ten year time limits in situations where there may have been a breach of planning control involving concealment. Providing an LPA applies within six months from the date of knowledge of evidence of the apparent breach and the court is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the apparent breach has been deliberately concealed and that it is just to do so, a planning enforcement order (“PEO”) will be made.

This effectively eliminates immunity from enforcement action and the ability to obtain a certificate for lawful status under the Town and Country Plnning Act 1990 (“the 1990 Act”) for a number of individuals who have breached planning controls and have concealed the breach.

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