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What's new in planning

Planning enforcement changes April 2024

Immunity periods

The Government are changing the planning enforcement immunity period for unauthorised development in England.  This is set out in Section 115 of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023.  

From 25 April 2024, the period for which:

  • a breach of planning for operational development and
  • the change of use of a building to a dwelling

become immune from enforcement action will go from 4 to 10 years.  Transition arrangements will still allow a 4 year period if works were substantially completed by 24 April 2024.


Greater fines can now be imposed for failing to comply with a Breach of Condition Notice. Previously the maximum was £1000 but now potentially there is no limit.

Temporary Stop Notices

These now last for 56 days instead of 28 days previously. A Temporary Stop Notice can now be issued for unauthorised works to a listed building.  It is a criminal offence to contravene this Notice.

Enforcement Warning Notices

We can use this Notice if there is a reasonable chance that unauthorised development would receive planning permission. Requires a developer to submit a planning application within a specified timeframe or risk further enforcement action.


You cannot appeal against an enforcement notice on the ground that planning permission should be granted for the development, if the unauthorised development has an enforcement notice:

  • already refused by the Council and
  • any subsequent appeal was dismissed (Enforcement Notice must have been issued within 2 years of appeal decision).

Appeals can now also be dismissed if the appellant causes undue delay.

Maker Heights Conservation Management Plan

The Maker Heights Conservation Management Plan (CMP) is now a material consideration for land use planning purposes. 

Maker Heights is an historically important former military site. It is located on a spectacular headland location on the Rame peninsula.  

 The CMP has been produced by Cornwall Archaeological Unit, with partners:

  • Cornwall Council
  • Historic England
  • the Mount Edgcumbe Estate
  • Rame Conservation Trust and
  • Evolving Places Ltd

The aim of the Plan is to explain the significance of the site. It sets out a philosophy and strategy for future management, maintenance and repair of the site. It also sets out policies to helps guide a sustainable future for the buildings, monuments, green spaces and landscape.

You can view the Conservation Management Plan on the Rame Conservation Trust website.

Changes to notification and publicity of planning and related applications

On the 1 March 2024 the way in which planning notify and publicise planning applications has changed.  Information regarding how we will publicise planning applications can be found in our publicising planning applications fact sheet.

The best way to ensure you are aware of applications in your area is to set up an alert to never miss a planing application via our online planning register.

Introduction of new short term lets use class and other measures

Government confirmed on 19 February that a new ‘short term lets’ use class will be introduced this summer as part of proposals to control such uses:

Short-term lets rules to protect communities and keep homes available - GOV.UK (

This recognises that in some areas there are large concentrations of short term letting uses that can impact negatively on the sustainability of communities.

The proposals include:

  • A mandatory national register of short term lets.  This will provide valuable information on their spread and help ensure accommodation is safe.
  • That homeowners can continue to let out their own main or sole home for up to 90 nights a year
  • The introduction of a new planning use class for properties used as short term lets
  • Associated permitted development rights.  One allowing for a property to be changed from a short-term let to a standard residential dwelling, and a second that would allow a property to be changed to a short-term let. Local authorities would be able to remove these permitted development rights, and require full planning permission, where they can show that uncontrolled short term lets would undermine sustainable communities.

The above will not apply until they are formally brought into force by Government.

Government have not yet provided details of the proposals and how they will work in practice, including timescales for the introduction of the new Register and the use class. We expect further details will be set out in the Government’s response to the consultations.  This will include the timeline for implementation of the register, the use class and the individual permitted development rights - with the changes being introduced from this summer.  We will update on the details of the proposals when  provided by Government.

Planning news April 2024

We have published our Winter planning newsletters: 

  • Planning News for Local Councils and Agents
  • Neighbourhood Planning Newsletter

You can find links to these newsletters on our Planning News page. 

Our next newsletter is due end of July 2024.

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