Name: Planning enforcement
Description: Our Planning Enforcement team investigate possible contraventions of planning permission
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Planning enforcement

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE COMPLETING AN ONLINE FORM; IT WILL HELP YOU DECIDE IF WHAT CONCERNS YOU IS SOMETHING THAT THE COUNCIL CAN INVESTIGATE.

Many domestic extensions do not require planning permission. You can check whether or not you may be exempt.  You can check whether there are any planning applications relating to the property you are concerned about.

A breach of planning control takes place when development is undertaken without planning permission.

This can include:

  • Building or engineering works or the change of use of a property or land;
  • The carrying out of development not in accordance with a planning permission, either by varying from an approved plan or by failing to comply with conditions attached to a permission;
  • The carrying out of works to a listed building without consent;
  • The felling or carrying out of works to a tree which is the subject of a Tree Preservation Order or which is in a Conservation Area;
  • The demolition of a building within a Conservation Area.

In addition, the Local Planning Authority has power in respect of the untidy condition of land.

Except for works to listed buildings, displaying unauthorised advertisements and carrying out works to protected trees, most breaches of planning control are not in themselves, criminal offences.

If planning permission is not required, then the Council are unable to take any action.  The following are typical examples of activities which are NOT normally breaches of planning control and will not therefore be investigated:

  • Boundary/land ownership disputes;
  • On-street parking of commercial vehicles in residential areas;
  • Discussions having taken place about possible building works or conversions, but work has not commenced;
  • Operating a business from home where the residential use remains the primary use and there is minimal adverse impact upon residential amenity;
  • Stationing of a touring caravan or motorhome within the curtilage of a house;
  • Clearing land of undergrowth, bushes and trees provided they are not subject to a Tree Preservation Order and are not within a Conservation Area.

If your complaint falls within any of the above categories we will not investigate the complaint.

If you believe that a breach of planning control has occurred, then you must use an Report a Planning Breach Form to report it.  Please ensure all information provided is as accurate and as detailed as possible.  Failure to provide a completed form is likely to result in the complaint not being investigated.  If you have evidence of the alleged breach of planning control please attach this when invited to do so.

If your complaint is to do with works to listed buildings, works to trees that are subject to a Tree Preservation Order or in a Conservation Area, or to do with an existing or ongoing investigation, then you can telephone Planning Enforcement on 01322 343434 or, if known, the allocated case officer. All other types of planning enforcement complaint must be reported using the Report a Planning Breach Form.

ALL PERSONAL INFORMATION YOU GIVE US WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED UNLESS YOU CHOOSE TO ALLOW IT TO BE MADE PUBLIC.

Please note that officers will not investigate anonymous complaints.

The Council has an adopted ENFORCEMENT POLICY which sets out the Council's approach to enforcement issues in more detail.

  • High hedges: common boundary dispute

    The right hedge can be an ideal garden boundary but the wrong hedge can bring problems for you and your neighbours
  • Planning Enforcement Policy

    The Council recognises the importance of establishing effective control over unauthorised development and will not condone wilful breaches of planning law.However, enforcement is a discretionary activity
Last Updated: 06th February 2018 Print Link

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