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Failure to comply with an enforcement notice is a criminal offence. Local authorities are able to bring prosecution actions in the local Magistrates’ Court or, in more important cases, the Crown Court. As well as leaving the planning offender with a criminal record, a successful prosecution can result in a fine, compensation and, in appropriate cases, a POCA confiscation order.
Ivy Legal can conduct pre-action reviews of cases. We can consider the strength of your evidence, suggest ways of obtaining more evidence. We can ensure that procedural aspects are rock solid before any action is attempted.
We can handle the prosecution in-house, preparing and serving the paperwork and our experienced trial advocates can present cases forcefully before the courts. Where others typically employ junior barristers instructed shortly before a hearing, our case management system ensures that those who are to present the prosecution are fully involved from case review onwards.
Prosecutions are the gateway to Proceeds of Crime Act Confiscation Orders. Local authorities can recover significant sums under confiscation orders, certainly well beyond the costs of prosecution. Ivy Legal can assess the suitability of cases for confiscation and seek orders on the local authority’s behalf. We handle all aspects of the process, liaising with Accredited Financial Investigators to assess means, preparing the application and either presenting it or negotiating a settlement for the local authority. We have a number of experienced AFI’s with whom we work closely.
A number of local authorities have been very successful in securing large confiscation orders for planning offences. We have compiled our own list of 'Top 10 POCA in Planning cases'. If you know of a POCA award that should go on this list, please let us know.