Enforcing Planning Control

We investigate written complaints about breaches of planning control

The things we investigate include:

  • Building work or significant changes of use carried out without planning permission.
  • Development not carried out in accordance with planning permission. 
  • Some untidy sites and derelict buildings.

If you suspect that work is being carried out without permission you can report a planning breach to us and we will investigate.

All complaints are kept confidential but, you do need to give us your details and a brief description of the alleged breach, including the address of the work your complaint is about.

After investigating, if we find there has been a breach we'll write to the person responsible, explain the problem and advise them how they can put it right.

This could mean they have to submit a planning application, stop unauthorised use, or remove the unauthorised structure. If they ignore our advice we may serve a Planning Contravention Notice, which could lead to enforcement action.

Planning enforcement plan provides more details on our plan and service standards.

What is a Planning Contravention Notice?

This Notice requires you to provide some information, including ownership details of the property or land. It helps us decide what action we'll take.

If an application is submitted and refused, or a planning application is not submitted and the unauthorised structure remains or the unauthorised use continues then we will consider issuing an Enforcement Notice.

What is an Enforcement Notice?

This Notice clearly describes what the alleged breach is, what must be done to put it right, and how long you’ll have to do it. 

You can appeal against an Enforcement Notice to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. A Planning Inspector will decide whether your appeal will be allowed or dismissed.

If you don’t appeal, or your appeal is dismissed and you still don’t comply with the Enforcement Notice you'll be liable for prosecution.

What happens if you don't comply with planning approval conditions

In this case we can serve a Breach of Condition Notice, there is no right of appeal against the notice and failure to comply with the notice may result in prosecution.