Town Planning legislation sets out types of development which require planning permission. You can see our enforcement register.

Enforcement action can relate to unauthorised: Building works, changes of use, advertisements, non-compliance with conditions on an existing planning permission and the unauthorised felling of protected trees.

Not all developments need planning permission. We can tell you if your complaint can be pursued through the planning enforcement process.

It is not a criminal offence to carry out works without planning permission. If work has been carried out, we will give individuals the opportunity to rectify the situation, or apply for retrospective planning permission. If a formal enforcement notice is issued, it is a criminal offence not to comply with it.

How do I make a complaint?

If you are concerned about a development which you feel does not have planning permission or where conditions of development are not being adhered to, you can tell us by submitting a planning enforcement complaint form.

We investigate reports in-line with our Local Enforcement Plan.  

Please note that we do not accept anonymous complaints. All reports must be accompanied by details of the person making the report. When reporting a planning enforcement matter to us, we will need the following information:

  • Your name, address and telephone number and/or email address
  • The address or location in question
  • A full description of the problem (please provide as much detail as possible)
  • Your assessment of what harm is being caused by the alleged breach in question

We will keep your details confidential and they will not be disclosed to any third party without your permission.


What happens after I have made my enquiry?
A site visit may be required and the Enforcement Officer will need to write to the property to arrange this visit. This will take time and the case will be prioritised depending on the nature of the alleged breach of planning control. The Enforcement Officer will update the reporter after the visit has taken place.

What action can the Council take?
Enforcement action powers are discretionary. Where unauthorised development could be acceptable, we will encourage the submission of a planning application. If an application is submitted, complainants will be consulted on the application.  Enforcement action will not be taken simply to remedy the absence of a planning application.

Time limits for enforcement action
Enforcement action must be taken within four years in relation to the erection of buildings and within 10 years in relation to changes of use and breaches of conditions. There is no time limit for the enforcement of breaches of Listed Building legislation.

Enforcement notices
Enforcement notices set out what the breach of planning is, the reasons for taking action, the steps required to remedy the breach of planning control and the compliance period. There is a right of appeal.

We deal with all planning enquiries in line with our planning enforcement plan.