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Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011

Sections 135, 136 and 137: Temporary stop notices including restrictions and offences

A council may serve a temporary stop notice to halt a breach of planning control for a period of up to 28 days as soon as the breach is identified, without first having had to issue an enforcement notice. A council has up to 28 days to decide whether further enforcement action is appropriate and what that action should be, without the breach intensifying by being allowed to continue. The provisions also impose certain limitations on activities on the land in question. Temporary stop notices issued under section 135 are not applicable to residences, or to other activities which the Department can specify in regulations. They cannot be issued for development or activities whose time limits for enforcement have passed. Only one notice can be issued unless further enforcement action is taken. Section 137 specifies that contravention of a notice issued under section 135 is a criminal offence, punishable on summary conviction by a fine of up to £100,000 (raised from £30,000) or on indictment by an unlimited fine.

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