The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act (2023) included provisions to improve compliance with planning regulations and discourage unlawful developments, which will come into effect today (25th April 2024).

The key changes taking effect from April 2024 are summarised below:

Revoking 4 year rule

Councils previously had 4 years to take enforcement action against building operations and changes of use to a dwelling. This restriction will be revised to allow councils the ability to take enforcement action up to 10 years after the breach, bringing it in line with other types of unauthorised developments.

Importantly, transitional provisions prevent these new rules from applying to unauthorised operational developments or changes to use to a dwelling that were substantially completed before 25 April 2024.


The financial penalties for planning enforcement offences will increase, including introducing uncapped fines for breach of condition and maintenance of land notices. The daily fine for non-compliance with court orders has increased from £100 to £500.

Enforcement Warning Notices

If a council considers that there is a reasonable prospect that unauthorised development would be granted planning permission, they now have the ability to issue an ‘enforcement warning notice’, which requires the submission of a planning application within a specified time period.

Temporary Stop Notices

The duration of temporary stop notices has increased from 28 days to 56 days. Councils can now also serve a temporary stop notice for unauthorised works to a listed building.


These changes will result in a stricter planning enforcement regime but in many existing cases the transitional provisions will be key.

Contact the Planning and Development team

If you have any questions relating to enforcement matters or concerns with the changes and what they may mean for you, then please do not hesitate to contact the Planning and Development team or Hayden Todd directly at or 01727 739381.