Can anyone shed light on this:
An advertising sign was granted permission in 98 with a condition that stipulated that it should be removed after expiration of 3 years.
I asked for a S154 notice to be issued as the sign was now breaching the planning condition (on the assumption that there was no time limit for planning conditions)
I received a letter today stating that as the sign was not removed, it had become 'unauthorised' in 2001 and that since the LA had taken no enforcement action before 2006 they were now statute barred from taking action.
I also referred to Section 157 Subsection 4(b) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 whereby "proceedings may be commenced at any time in respect of any condition concerning the use of land to which the permission is subject."
The LA argue that since the PP was for the replacement of the sign, the pre-existing landuse was advertising. Surely a landuse is not indefinate??
The notion in the heads of the LA seems to be that once an advertising sign is erected, even if a time limit is given, once they fail to enforce over a five year period, then the advertiser has an defacto planning permission until the end of time.
Can anyone point me to the relevant section of the Act or is there any case law that a removal time-limit means that after that period the development becomes unauthorised, and that after five years becomes authorised again??
All seems very Kafka-esque to me.