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73.—(1) Where in respect of any land the Department—
(a)has served a copy of an enforcement notice requiring a breach of planning control to be remedied; but
(b)considers it expedient to prevent, before the expiry of the period allowed for compliance with the notice, the carrying out of any activity which is, or is included in, a matter alleged by the notice to constitute the breach,
then, subject to the provisions of this Article, it may at any time before the notice takes effect serve a notice (in this Order referred to as a “stop notice”) referring to, and having annexed to it a copy of, the enforcement notice and prohibiting the carrying out of that activity on the land, or on any part of it specified in the stop notice.
(2) A stop notice shall not prohibit—
(a)any person from continuing to use any building, caravan or other structure situated upon the land as his permanent residence whether as owner, occupier, tenant, patient, guest or otherwise;
(b)any person from taking any steps necessary to comply or secure compliance with an enforcement notice.
(3) A stop notice shall not take effect (and so cannot be contravened) until such date as it may specify, being a date not earlier than 3 nor later than 28 days from the day on which it is first served on any person.
(4) A stop notice shall cease to have effect when—
(a)the enforcement notice referred to in it is withdrawn or quashed; or
(b)the period allowed for compliance with that enforcement notice expires; or
(c)notice of withdrawal of the stop notice is first served under paragraph (6); or
(d)if or to the extent that the activities prohibited by it cease, on a variation of the enforcement notice referred to in it, to be included in the matters alleged by the enforcement notice to constitute a breach of planning control.
(5) A stop notice may be served by the Department on any person who appears to it to have an estate in the land or to be engaged in any activity prohibited by the notice; and where a stop notice has been served in respect of any land, the Department may display there a notice (in this Article referred to as a “site notice”) stating—
(a)that a stop notice has been served; and
(b)that any person contravening the stop notice may be prosecuted for an offence under this Article, giving the date when the stop notice takes effect and indicating its requirements.
(6) The Department may at any time withdraw a stop notice (without prejudice to its power to serve another)—
(a)by serving notice to that effect on persons served with the stop notice; and
(b)if a site notice was displayed in respect of the stop notice, displaying a notice of the withdrawal in place of the site notice.
(7) If any person contravenes, or causes or permits the contravention of, a stop notice—
(a)after a site notice has been displayed, or
(b)after a stop notice has been served on him,
then, subject to paragraph (8), he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale; and if the offence is continued after conviction he shall be liable on summary conviction to a further fine not exceeding one-tenth of level 5 on the standard scale for each day on which it is continued.
(8) In proceedings for an offence under this Article it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that the stop notice was not served on him and that he did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, of its existence.
(9) A stop notice shall not be invalid by reason that a copy of the enforcement notice to which it relates was not served as required by Article 68(5) if it is shown that the Department took all such steps as were reasonably practicable to effect proper service.
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