Planning enforcement

Town planning legislation sets out the types of development which require planning permission.

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 using the form below.

Enforcement action can relate to unauthorised building works, changes of use, advertisements, or the felling of protected trees, for example.

However, not all developments need planning permission and we can tell you if your complaint can be pursued through this enforcement process.

All complaints are investigated in line with our Local Enforcement Plan.  

Please note we do not accept anonymous complaints. We will keep your details confidential and they will not be disclosed to any third party without your permission.

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 enforcing breaches of Listed Building legislation.

The complaint process

A site visit may be required and the enforcement officer will need to write to the property to arrange this, which may take time. Cases will be prioritised depending on the nature of the alleged breach. The enforcement officer will update the reporter after the visit has taken place.

Action we can take

Enforcement powers are discretionary. Carrying out work without planning permission is not a criminal offence. We will give people 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.

Enforcement notices

If a notice is issued, it will set out the breach of planning, the reasons for taking action, steps required to remedy the issue and the compliance period. There is a right of appeal.

Enforcement register

You can view a history of action taken by the council in this enforcement register.