Planning enforcement investigates possible breaches of planning control and aims to resolve these using the most appropriate means or action.
We are responsible for enforcing control for all planning matters including minerals.
What is a breach of planning control?
A breach of planning control is defined in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as:
"the carrying out of a development without the required planning permission, or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted".
Examples of breaches of planning control:
- building work, engineering operations and material changes of use, which are carried out without planning permission, where planning permission is required
- development which has planning permission but is not carried out in accordance with the approved plans
- failure to comply with conditions or the terms of a legal agreement attached to a permission or consent
- advertisements that require express consent under the Advertisement Regulations, but are displayed without consent being granted*
- demolition within a conservation area, without conservation area consent, when it is required*
- works carried out to a "listed" building, which affect it's historic character or setting, without listed building consent being granted*
- failure to comply with the requirements of a planning legal notice such as enforcement, discontinuance, stop notice, etc*
*These items constitute an offence.
We will not become involved in matters that are purely neighbourly disputes and, in particular, cannot become involved in boundary disputes.
What information do we need when you make a complaint?
- The precise location of the site or property to which the complaint relates
- The exact nature of concern ie the potential breach of planning control
- If possible, the identity of the person/ organisation responsible and the date and/or time the breach began
- The complainant's details (name and address etc) are also required as anonymous complaints are not accepted. If you do not wish to divulge your details, then you can contact your local councillor and ask that they submit the complaint on your behalf
What happens to your complaint?
- We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days if a postal address or email address is provided
- You will endeavour to inform you within 84 working days of receipt of your complaint how the council intends to pursue the matter
Every effort will be made to keep the identity of the complainant confidential. In many cases the original source of the complaint is an officer of the council. However, those who are close to the site of the alleged planning contravention often provide the best evidence. There are likely to be cases where the reluctance of a complainant to be identified and provide evidence may seriously affect the outcome.
How to make a complaint
There are several ways you can register an enforcement complaint:
- by telephone on 01792 635701
- in person at the Civic Centre