One year after their introduction, provisions in the Localism Act allowing local authorities to take enforcement action against concealed planning breaches appear powerless at curbing unlawful building, says Emma Hatfield

Section 124 of the Localism Act 2011, introduced amid strong criticism from many quarters in the planning sector, has been in force for little under a year. The rule set out new time limits for enforcing concealed breaches of planning control, in response to the two high profile cases of R (on the application of Fidler) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2010] EWHC 143 Admin, and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council v (1) Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and (2) Beesley [2011] UKSC 15.

In the first case the court found that when building his house, Robert Fidler intended to deceive local planners by using "a shield of straw bales around it and tarpaulins or plastic sheeting over the ...

Jean-Yves Gilg
Solicitors Journal

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