How do we take action?
We begin by preparing formal notices and then serving them on all parties with an interest in the property or land concerned.
The notice will specify the steps that need to be undertaken within an appropriate timescale
In the case of unauthorised works to listed buildings and/or protected trees, we can start prosecution proceedings without having to first serve an Enforcement Notice (as such unauthorised works are unlawful and therefore potentially constitute a criminal offence).
The recipient of a notice will either:
- Comply with the notice, in which case the matter is closed, or;
- Contest the notice by appealing to the Secretary of State or challenge in a law court.
Hearing a case on appeal will take time and can often delay proceedings particularly if a Public Inquiry has to be arranged.
If the appeal against the notice does not succeed then the formal notice comes into force. If the appeal is successful and/or planning permission is granted, then this is normally the end of the matter.
If the notice is upheld or there is no appeal but it is still not complied with, we will then consider prosecuting the perpetrator in the criminal courts.
We will aim to keep complainants advised of progress at key stages during these proceedings, for example, when an appeal is received or when a case is to be heard.