Planning enforcement investigations are still being carried out, but may take longer than usual to progress. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, site visits are not being carried out in all cases. Please see our new Geographic Area Focus document (PDF 503KB) for more information on how we are managing investigations at the moment.
About planning enforcement
The planning enforcement team’s key role is to investigate and try to resolve breaches of planning control. Whilst we will try to resolve these to bring people within the law, where it is appropriate and in the public interest we will start legal action to secure compliance with planning legislation.
A breach of planning control is defined as:
- carrying out development without the required planning permission,
- failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted.
Planning enforcement table detailing what we can and cannot investigate
|What we can investigate
||What we cannot investigate (follow the links to report it)
|Breaches of condition
||The parking of vehicles on the highway
|Breaches of planning permission/approved plans
|Breaches of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO)
||Internal refurbishments of buildings which are not listed
|Unauthorised uses of land or buildings
||Disputes between neighbours relating to land ownership or the siting of boundaries
|Unauthorised works to a tree in a conservation area or covered by a tree preservation order (TPO)
||The treatment or removal of trees or hedges which are not located in a conservation area or covered by a Tree Preservation Order. This is a civil matter involving private homeowners. For more information, contact our Trees and Woodlands team.
|Unauthorised works to a listed building
||Noise, smell or pollution
|Unauthorised advertisement displays
Reporting a breach of planning control
To make a complaint or raise a query about a breach of planning control, please use our:
Breach of planning control complaint form
All complaints about alleged breaches of planning control must be made in writing. Discretion may be used in some cases to waive this requirement, but this will usually be limited to those cases where there is the prior knowledge or existing involvement of an officer, or where the complaint relates to unauthorised works to a listed building or trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order.
We cannot accept anonymous complaints. Any complaint you do make will be treated in the strictest confidence in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Local Enforcement Plan.
Local Enforcement Plan
This document sets out our response to the National Planning Policy Framework, and how we will investigate alleged cases of unauthorised development, take action where it is appropriate to do so and monitor the implementation of planning permissions.
The policy details what businesses, residents and others affected by its regulatory responsibilities can expect from the service and assists staff in applying enforcement powers in a consistent and fair way.
For more information, please download the Local Enforcement Plan - February 2021 (PDF 2MB).
An unauthorised encampment is where any person camps (in vans, trailers or any other moveable accommodation) on land that they do not own, and where they do not have permission to reside.