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Planning Concerns

If you are concerned that development has been, or is being carried out without planning permission or any conditions attached to a planning decision are not being followed, you can tell us. We will look into it and take appropriate action.

What is a Planning Enforcement Complaint or a Breach of Planning Control?

A breach of planning control could include the following:

  • Changes of use of land or buildings; e.g. from a house to a shop
  • The erection of buildings without permission
  • Building works which are different from what is shown on an approved plan
  • Not complying with conditions of a planning permission
  • Carrying out works to a listed building without listed building consent
  • Displaying signs or advertisements without consent.

What is not a Planning Enforcement Complaint or a Breach of Planning Control?

The following are examples of activities, which are not breaches of planning control. The council would not be able to investigate:

  • Parking of commercial vehicles, vans, lorries etc on the highway in residential areas or on grass verges
  • Running a business from home where the house remains the main use and there is no adverse impact on residential amenity
  • Parking a caravan within the residential boundary of a property, provided that it is ancillary to the dwelling i.e. it is stored or used as an extra bedroom
  • Land ownership or boundary disputes

What should I do if I suspect a breach or want to start an enforcement complaint?

You should first check to see if any permission exists for the development you wish to report. You can do this on our website using our search & track planning applications section. You can find the link on the right-hand side of this page. For us to be able to fully investigate your concerns, we require as much information as possible from you.

All complaints made by private individuals or companies are kept confidential, your name will not be disclosed without your knowledge and agreement, unless we are legally required to do so. Unless you have a good reason for not giving us your details, and explain why, anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated and cannot be reported online.

To make an online report or a breach or complaint, please complete the report a planning breach form on the right-hand side of this page. You can complete this form electronically and either e-mail it to us, with any additional information, or print it and post it to us.

What will the council do about a breach of planning control?

To ensure that we effectively investigate alleged breaches of planning control we will:

  • Record details of all complaints.
  • Keep the person who made the complaint and any other relevant interested parties informed of progress.
  • Assess whether there has been a breach of planning control and whether further investigations are needed or any enforcement powers should be used.
  • Collate any additional information required and carry out consultations, site visits or write to people with an interest in the land.
  • Invite a retrospective planning application or require the removal or alteration of the breach, if appropriate.

Review of Planning Enforcement

We are currently reviewing our Planning Enforcement procedures and the resources required to investigate existing and future planning enforcement complaints.  We acknowledge that the investigations of complaints of breaches of planning control is not as timely as it could be, hence the review that is being undertaken.

We anticipate that the review will be completed by 30 April 2016 and during this time it is not possible to update customers either in writing or over the telephone whilst we undertake this review and ask for your patience.