Prior to taking enforcement action the council will inform you of their intent. Early engagement could prevent a notice being served.
Enforcement is often taken by the local authority in a number of stages, starting with a warning which tells you to stop whatever it is you are doing or to reinstate the land to the use that was in place before.
Sometimes an Enforcement Notice is issued and it is absolutely essential that this is dealt with promptly. Failure to comply with the Notice once it has taken effect is a criminal offence so this is a position you just do not want to find yourself in.
Should you ever take the initiative?
If you have been carrying out the activities referred to without planning permission over a period of time or have an established structure then it may be possible to take the initiative and to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness. This is not an application for Planning Permission but if granted it will confirm that no further enforcement action can generally be taken.
Call our team on 01202 551991 to discuss if this approach is the most appropriate for you.