44B Temporary stop notices
187.Unauthorised works often destroy the historic fabric, and can damage the special interest, of listed buildings. The 1990 Act makes it an offence to carry out unauthorised works to a listed building or fail to comply with the conditions of a listed building consent. The same Act makes provision for the service of a listed building enforcement notice to require the restoration of a listed building after unauthorised works, or steps to alleviate the effects of such works. A listed building enforcement notice cannot come into effect earlier than 28 days after its service. If an appeal is lodged against it, an enforcement notice will not take effect until the appeal has been determined or withdrawn, unless a court determines otherwise. A temporary stop notice, by contrast, can bring unauthorised works to an immediate halt, avoiding the risk of further damage to the historic fabric of the building.
188.Sections 44B to 44D provide local planning authorities with a power to serve a temporary stop notice requiring the immediate cessation of unauthorised works for a period of 28 days whilst a solution to the situation is sought.
189.A local planning authority may serve a temporary stop notice if it appears to the authority that works are being or have been carried out to a listed building without consent or in breach of a condition attached to a consent and the authority considers it expedient to stop those works immediately, in consequence of their effect on the character of the building as one of special architectural or historic interest (section 44B(1) and (2)).
190.Section 44B(3) requires the notice to be in writing and to specify the works which are to stop, explain why the notice has been issued and state that contravention of the notice is an offence. The works specified in the temporary stop notice need not include all of the works that are underway. For example, a local planning authority may wish to stop the alteration or removal of a particular feature, such as a window, which is part of a wider programme of works, but may be satisfied that the remainder of the programme of works has been authorised by listed building consent, or consists of simple repairs that will not affect the character of the building.
191.Section 44B(5) and (6) requires the local planning authority to display a copy of the temporary stop notice on the building and to specify, on the copy, the date on which it first does so. The notice takes effect as soon as the copy is first displayed on the building.
192.Section 44B(7) states that a temporary stop notice ceases to have effect after a period of 28 days, or any shorter period that is specified in the notice. Section 44B(8) to (10) states that a local planning authority may withdraw the notice before the end of 28 days (or any shorter period specified). A further temporary stop notice cannot be issued for the same works unless another enforcement action has been taken in relation to the contravention, for example, the service of a listed building enforcement notice or the obtaining of an injunction under section 44A of the 1990 Act. There is no requirement for a temporary stop notice to be accompanied or followed by a listed building enforcement notice or any other enforcement action.
193.Section 44B(11) allows the Welsh Ministers to make regulations that exempt the execution of certain works, or works in certain circumstances, from the effects of a temporary stop notice. This provides some flexibility for the Welsh Ministers to adapt the use of temporary stop notices in light of experience of their use.