The Court of Appeal held that although the council had done nothing in respect of the matter for approximately 10 years no prejudice had been suffered by the claimant as a result of the delay. There was an important distinction between an administrative delay and a delay that caused no injustice. In this case the claimant had not suffered from the delay but had enjoyed the benefit of the illegal building. The discretion to enforce the notice was wide and the council's powers were lawful.
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This is an interesting case because it demonstrates that council can enforce a demolition notice some 12 years after having the initial Section 36 Building Act Notice requiring demolition. If a building or an extension is built without obtaining the appropriate planning permission then the passing of time is unlikely to provide a defence to enforcement of that demolition notice.