The Planning enforcement system exists to help control things that are done without permission and things that are not done in accordance with any planning permission that has been granted.
What if my neighbour has built something without permission?
If you consider that someone is carrying out development which may not have had planning permission, you should contact an Enforcement Officer (details at bottom of page). Any complaints received in this way, unconnected with a particular current planning application, are confidential, and your name will not be given to the person you have complained about.
You can also report a breach of planning conditions online, using our Online Enforcement Report Form.
Breaches of Conditions
Often planning permission is granted subject to conditions. Failure to comply with conditions that are laid out in planning permissions may result in the issue of a 'Breach of Condition Notice' which requires compliance with the terms of the condition within a certain amount of time.
If the developer still doesn't comply with the requirements of a breach of condition notice this is a criminal offence and on conviction, the developer can be fined up to £1000. There is no right of appeal against a breach of condition notice.
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Where land or buildings are not properly maintained and their appearance becomes severely detrimental to the visual amenity of an area the Local Planning Authority may issue a notice under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) requiring works to be carried out to address the damage to amenity. The power can range from removing rubbish from land to demolishing buildings and removing the demolition debris.
There is a right of appeal against a notice issued under this section to the Magistrates Court. Failure to comply with the requirements of the notice constitutes a criminal offence subject on conviction to a fine not exceeding £1000, the authority is also empowered to enter land to carry out the works specified in the notice and reclaim costs from the land owner.
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If you have an enquiry about any Enforcement matters, please use our online Enforcement Report form.
If you need to find a specific enforcement cases you should go to our Enforcement Register. The enforcement register is updated as necessary with enforcement notices being available within 5 working days following that.
Planning Enforcement is relevant to the full range of Development Control functions.
Sometimes, development takes place without planning permission being granted. The erection of new buildings, making a material change of use of a building or land (for example carrying out a business from home), erecting security shutters on a shop, altering land levels and building retaining walls are all forms of development that are likely to require planning permission. This list of examples is by no means exhaustive. If in doubt about whether your development requires planning permission, contact a member of the Enforcement team (details at bottom of page).
The alleged breach of planning control, such as those referred to above, would normally be assessed by the planning enforcement team and, if the development or use is likely to be acceptable, a planning application would be invited. The invitation to submit a planning application would not guarantee that planning permission would be granted.
If planning permissions if refused, you will be asked to remove the structure or cease the use. If you do not do as requested, a planning enforcement notice would be issued setting out the steps required to address the planning issues and giving a timescale for compliance.
There is a right of appeal against a planning enforcement notice to the Secretary of State (See Appeals).
Failure to comply with the requirements of a planning enforcement notice by the date given is a criminal offence which is subject to a fine of up to £20,000 or an unlimited fine if tried on indictment.
It is also open to the planning authority to enter into injunctive proceedings to secure compliance with a notice or to carry out the works required by the notice and re claim the costs of the works.
Where a breach of planning control is particularly damaging or unacceptable, a stop notice can be issued with the enforcement notice and has the effect of bringing the development to a stop within two days of service.