Enforcement letter remove Storage Container Help!

October 15, 2021 by Gregory Bradshaw in forum Planning Forum

#1133 Gregory Bradshaw, 15 October 2021, 01:55

Hi folks, I'm facing planning threatening enforcement if I do not remove my 40ft storage container in my residential garden. Its not fixed and temporary, not facing anyone, movable, non-commercial, wood cladded. Does not need planning surely! Not on a border and not beyond front line of the house either. Help!

#1134 Ant Homin, 15 October 2021, 10:50

First of all you need to check that their reasoning is valid – probably wont be far off but enforcement officers can be a bit over zealous. I’m not au fait with all the planning regs / permitted development for buildings within gardens but you can read through the various regs, guidance and forums to get a good idea. Anything temporary can only be kept in the same position for 18 days in any year.

I assume you have been advised what criteria they consider to have been infringed and you can confirm their reasons are valid. Possibly a call to a planning consultant (ex planning officer !!) who may offer a free ½ hour or pay for an introductory consultation and then they would be able to assist with any submissions.

Can the container be amended to fit within the rules ie add a roof, lower it or move it. In which case defend your case, otherwise apply for retrospective planning permission. Be sure to include good reasons such as secure storage of tools particularly if security is a concern.

It will need to go to a Council meeting before any action is taken so talk (and write) to the officers. Let them know what you are going to do and (usually) they will allow time. They will want to settle cases amicably if they can.

If the enforcement officer is unreasonable dont be afraid to go to the legal department – the Council wont act unless there is a sound legal case and the legal dept is prepared to follow it up. Most important is to keep a paper trail.

Lastly, dont be too fazed. I had a run-in with enforcement quite a few years ago. Barn received retrospective planning, mobile home was moved into curtilage of house (but could have been a chattel) and the swimming pool (childs paddling pool !!) was drained and put away in its box at the end of the summer and re-used the following year.

Bear in mind that the enforcement has probably come about because a neighbour “has made enquiries”. If it is adversely affecting a neighbour be sympathetic to their views if you need to apply for planning.

#1136 Damian, 15 October 2021, 20:05

For what reasons are they looking to serve enforcement action? On the assumption they are stating it requires Planning, have they not offered you the chance to submit a Planning application?

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