Enforcement notice issued before breach occurred

An enforcement notice requiring the removal of a temporary mast and equipment in greater Manchester was held to be flawed because it had been issued before a breach of planning control had occurred.

The appellants stated that Class A(b) of Part 24 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO 1995 allowed the use of land for an emergency period not exceeding six months to station and operate moveable electronic communications apparatus.

The appellants informed the council in January 2013 that a mast would be installed on the appeal site because a nearby telecommunications tower had been decommissioned. The six-month period expired at the end of July 2013 but the council had issued the enforcement notice in June with a one-month period for compliance. This meant that when the notice was issued a breach of control had not occurred, the appellants claimed.

An inspector agreed that the council had acted prematurely. On the date for compliance with the notice the mast still benefited from permitted development rights and the council could not serve a notice in an attempt to prohibit a possible future breach of planning control. Since the breach of control occurred after the notice was served the matters alleged in the notice were incorrect and consequently the appeal was allowed.

Inspector Jean Russell; Written representations

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