Wilsdon v North Essex Justices [2021] 2 WLUK 433, 25th February 2021 before Holgate J.

Alison Lambert was instructed on behalf of the Respondent (Maldon District Council).

The planning authority had served the enforcement notice on the appellant in January 2018. It specified an unlawful change of use of the land for storage purposes. The appellant landowner appealed by way of case stated against his convictions for offences under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Pt VII s.179(2) and s.179(5) for failure to comply with an enforcement notice.

The appellant raised two issues: whether (a) the reply from the planning department in March 2018 contradicted or amended the notice; (b) the notice was a nullity.

An enforcement notice requiring a landowner to cease an unauthorised change of use of land had been clear, unambiguous and was not a nullity. The court considered, but did not determine, the question of whether the landowner’s failure to challenge the enforcement notice based on the principles in Mansi v Elstree Rural DC 62 L.G.R. 172, [1964] 1 WLUK 874 in an appeal to the secretary of state precluded him from raising the issue later, as that matter was not in issue at the appeal by way of case stated, and if it had been it would have been bound to fail in any event.