Breach of planning control

The planning enforcement team deals with alleged breaches of planning. This can include:

  • where something has been built without planning permission
  • where alterations have been made without planning permission.
  • when the use of land or a building has altered without permission
  • where conditions attached to planning approvals have not been complied with
  • where unauthorised advertisements have been installed

It's not an offence to carry out development without planning permission. However, it is risky to carry out development before securing planning first as it can't be assumed that retrospective planning permission will always be granted for that development.

An offence will only occur if the development involves unauthorised advertisements, works to protected trees or listed buildings, or if a formal notice has been served and it has not been complied with.

Complain about or report a suspected breach:
If you're concerned about a development please check if permission has been granted and what the conditions are. This can be done on our planning search page.

If you still think that the correct planning permission has been breached, or that work has been carried out without the correct permission, we will need the following information:

  • the precise location of the site or property to which the complaint relates
  • the exact nature of concern - for example, the potential breach of planning control
  • an indication of any harm caused by the breach
  • if possible, how long ago the activity was undertaken, any information about the identity of the person or organisation responsible and the date when the breach began

You can tell us by filling out our online reporting form.

All investigations are carried out on a strictly confidential basis and the investigation team will not reveal the complainant's details.

On serious breaches of planning control - which may warrant prosecution, or result in an appeal - the complainant may be invited to give a witness statement. This situation is rare and involvement in the case is on a voluntary basis.

Anonymous complaints
Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated unless the complainant has a reason for not giving their details and explains this to the investigating officer.

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