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Planning enforcement


Whilst it is not always a criminal offence to carry out development without planning permission, it may still constitute a contravention of planning laws and the council has the power to enforce those laws.

Planning breaches

As well as breaches we find through our work, many enforcement complaints are made by local residents.

Breaches of planning include:

  • unapproved works to a listed building
  • unapproved works to a protected tree
  • non compliance with approved plans
  • non compliance with conditions imposed on approved plans
  • unauthorised development or changes of use of land or buildings
  • display of certain advertisements without consent

What we can't investigate:

  • boundary or party wall disputes
  • covenant or deed disputes
  • obstruction of a highway
  • right-to-light issues

How do I report a possible planning breach?

You can report a possible planning breach online.

Start now

Planning law can be complicated and this information is only a guide to the enforcement procedures and the powers of the council. Our investigation officers work in accordance with our 'Planning Enforcement Strategy'. This strategy should be read in addition to the more general 'Corporate Enforcement & Prosecution Strategy'.

Please note that we may publish details of alleged breaches on our website.


Some documents on this page may not be in an accessible format. If you require any documents in an accessible format, please complete our online form to request them.