Incidents of local authorities halting work on construction sites rises 131% in past year

Use of temporary stop notices on construction sites has more than doubled in the last year, according to new research.

A report from emw law revealed notices issued by local authorities leapt from 229 to 530 in the past 12 months, a rise of 131%.

Construction sites

It said the “potentially draconian power” was being used for increasingly minor incidents, with huge cost implications for developers.

The notices, introduced in 2005, give councils the power to instantly halt work on a development for a period of 28 days. Example offences include failing to comply with planning permission conditions such as protecting trees and excessive noise levels.

Planning specialist at emw, Giles Ferin, said: “The problem with temporary stop notices is that they are just too easy to use. There is mounting apprehension that local authorities could use these powers for fairly minor offences.

“For developers, a 28 day stoppage would undoubtedly lead to delays in completion as they are often working on extremely tight deadlines – this could trigger penalty payments to the client.”