Breaches of planning control

Planning enforcement

Planning breaches and enforcement issues can be technical, complex and take time to resolve. They are governed by The Town and Country Planning Act. The Act aims to strike a balance between the freedom of owners to use or alter their property and the quality of life for neighbours and residents. It is not normally a crime to breach planning control.

If you think someone has breached planning control within the borough, read through our advice to find out what to do and how we can help you.

Has a breach of planning control taken place?

A breach of planning control happens when:

  • development that should have had planning permission goes ahead without that permission being granted
  • or when planning permission has been granted but the development is not being carried out correctly

You can see if planning permission has been granted by searching our planning database for the planning application.

Many developments do not need planning permission – it maybe a permitted development. Before making a complaint you should read more about permitted development and when planning permission is and is not needed on our page ‘When do I need planning permission?’.

What does planning enforcement cover?

We deal with all formal complaints relating to:

  • unauthorised built development - new buildings, extensions and alterations to existing buildings, etc
  • unauthorised land uses - new types of business running from a property, a new use of land etc
  • building works that are not in accordance with approved plans
  • breaches of the conditions placed on a planning permission
  • illegal works to trees and listed buildings
  • illegal advertisements
  • neglected land and property that is an eyesore

Complaints about:

  • the use of, or obstruction of, highways, pavements or verges are dealt with by our Highways team - please see our section on highways and roads
  • air, noise or light pollution are dealt with by our Environmental Health team - please see our section on environmental health
  • substandard building work or dangerous structures are dealt with by our Building Control team see - Dangerous structures and emergencies

We cannot deal with:

  • neighbour disputes
  • disputes over land boundaries or land ownership
  • Deeds of Covenant issues
  • works to Party Walls

Instead you should get legal advice to help you with these. But you may find our page on boundaries, party walls and garden walls useful - Boundaries, party walls and garden walls.

Last Modified: 17/06/2020 16:05:57