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Planning enforcement

What is planning enforcement

Planning enforcement is a process to investigate cases where planning control may have been breached. We are required by law to investigate all reported planning breaches. However taking action is discretionary and we can decide how we deal with them.

In the first instance we will attempt to find a solution which removes or reduces any impacts of a breach without resorting to the use of formal enforcement action. However we will use appropriate measures including formal notices and court action where harmful breaches continue.

Common breaches of planning control

  • unauthorised building or engineering works
  • unauthorised works being carried out on a listed building
  • material changes of use of land or buildings to a different use
  • development that has not been carried out in accordance with planning permission
  • failure to comply with a condition related to planning permission
  • unauthorised work to protected trees
  • display of advertisements without the required consent
  • untidy land

What we can't investigate

  • boundary disputes, such as party wall matters, trespass or property damage as these are civil matters
  • construction vehicles using or parking on the public highway (any matters regarding dangerous driving or obstruction is dealt with by the police.)
  • unsafe building work on construction sites
  • building issues relating to building standards
  • clearing land of bushes and trees (unless they are protected)
  • enforcement of private covenants
  • anticipated breaches (we can't act before a breach happens)

If any of the above or other non-planning relates issues are reported to us we will notify you that we will not be taking them any further and they will be passed on to the appropriate department where possible.