What we'll investigate, and how to report a planning breach
What our Enforcement Team do
The reasons for having an enforcement system are:
- to control new development
- to stop inappropriate development
- to prevent unacceptable planning activity
- to check the conditions attached to planning permissions
The law allows small developments, that are unlikely to have any harmful effect, to go ahead without the need for planning permission. We call this 'permitted development'.
However, there are exceptions. There is no permitted development for:
- listed buildings
And there is restricted permitted development for:
- work within conservation areas
- areas covered by an Article 4 Direction
You can find out what is permitted by going to our planning portal.
Anything that is not a permitted development will need planning permission. And in some cases, Listed Building or Conservation Area Consent.
Complaints we will investigate
Generally, the types of complaint we'll investigate are:
- unauthorised building works
- unauthorised change of use
- unauthorised works to listed buildings
- unauthorised adverts
- unauthorised works to protected trees
- untidy land having an adverse impact on the amenity
Complaints we won't investigate
We will not investigate anonymous complaints, except if the complaint relates to irreplaceable assets.
Any information you provide to us will be strictly confidential. It will not be shared save in accordance with the law and where there is a legal duty to do so.
Report a breach of planning
Please tell us about anything you believe:
- may not have planning permission
- breaches planning rules
Please do not complete our online form if the complaint is urgent and relates to:
- a listed building
- a tree protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
- a development in a conservation area
In these instances please call us on 01553 616200 so we can investigate more quickly.
You can report a breach of planning online. You can now track the progress of your report through registering for our My Account service.
Registering for an account is easy and will allow you to securely access our services 24/7.
To report a breach of planning you'll need:
- your contact details
- full details of the breach
- to have checked that the activity doesn't have planning permission already (you can do so by using our Public Access facility)
What will happen next
Once you make your report, we'll visit the site, normally within five working days. At the end of our investigation, we'll contact you to tell you the result of your complaint.
Further information on planning enforcement can be found on the Planning Portal website.