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National Park Authority welcomes tougher rules for planning enforcement

National Park Authority welcomes tougher rules for planning enforcement


New Government planning enforcement rules came into force yesterday (25 April) which will help further protect the New Forest National Park’s natural and built environment.

These include unlimited fines for those who don’t comply with enforcement notices, and a longer period in which Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) can take enforcement action against some unauthorised development – with the previous four-year limit now extended to 10 years.

LPAs can now also issue temporary ‘stop notices’ on certain work, which are effective for up to 56 days rather than 28.  

The nationwide reforms have been introduced through the Planning Act 2008 (Commencement No. 8) and Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023 (Commencement No. 4 and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2024, which were made earlier this month.

Lucie Cooper, Planning Enforcement Manager at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘As the local planning authority for the National Park, we welcome these tougher rules for planning enforcement.

‘Our planning function is absolutely key to conserving and enhancing the special qualities that make the New Forest the place it is, helping us to safeguard it for future generations while serving the needs of our local communities.

‘Flagrant breaches of planning control can quickly undermine people’s confidence in the planning system, and it’s important we take enforcement action when necessary.’

While the NPA can resolve most cases without needing to serve enforcement notices, around 20 notices are served by the Authority each year.

Any requirements of a notice that aren’t met within time are usually pursued through the Magistrates’ Court.

Steve Avery, Executive Director (Strategy & Planning) at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The introduction of unlimited fines from this week should help to ensure that enforcement notices are complied with in good time and hopefully make people think twice before starting development without planning permission.’


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