To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will assess the merits of increasing the penalty charged to developers who regularly build without planning permission.
12 October 2016
Legislative changes which came into effect in March 2015 mean that both the magistrates’ and the crown court can already impose an unlimited fine on conviction for the most serious enforcement related offences – non compliance with enforcement notices, temporary stop notices and stop notices and for giving false or misleading response to a planning contravention notice. In determining the amount of the fine, the courts are required to “have regard to any financial benefit which has accrued or appears likely to accrue to him in consequence of the offence”.
In addition, where a local planning authority achieves a successful conviction for failure to comply with an enforcement notice, they can apply for a Confiscation Order, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, to recover the financial benefit obtained through unauthorised development.
We believe these penalties remain appropriate and have no plans to amend them at this time.