Planning enforcement and breaches

We aim to avoid restricting the freedom of landowners, while maintaining the integrity of the natural, built, and historic environment and allowing residents to live in comfort.

When works are carried out without the correct permissions, there may be a breach of planning control. When rules are broken, we can take different types of enforcement action.

A planning breach happens when:

  • development that should have had planning permission granted goes ahead without permission 
  • planning permission has been granted but the work isn’t complying with the conditions that have been set out 
  • work is carried out to a listed building without listed building consent 

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

Not all developments require planning permission, as the work may be taking place under Permitted Development. You can find information on common building work projects for the home on the national Planning Portal. 

Report a suspected planning breach 

How we enforce planning decisions

If we decide that planning rules have been broken, our Planning Enforcement team will investigate. This might involve:

  • negotiating a resolution by requesting a retrospective planning application or,
  • that works are carried out to resolve the issue/s

We will usually be able to resolve cases informally. If it’s not possible to resolve the matter, we may decide to take formal action. This could involve legal proceedings including prosecutions and injunctions. 

The Planning Inspectorate website explains how to appeal against enforcement action.

Find out about breaches of planning control on our website. 

Last Modified: 31/01/2024 11:08:59