Enforcement - what we do
Our enforcement officers investigate concerns that involve a breach of planning control:
- alterations to listed buildings;
- demolition of buildings in conservation areas; and
- any other matters which may involve a breach of planning control
We open most enforcement investigations following concerns reported to us by members of the public, parish councils or local organisations.
All council staff carry photo ID and are happy to be asked for it and to explain the reason for their visit.
How to report a planning concern
You can report a suspected unauthorised development via email or post.
We will not reveal the details you provide on the form to the landowner concerned.
Alternatively, please contact the Planning Appeals & Enforcement team.
How to view active investigations
You can search for current requests for investigation by:
How we deal with reports of unauthorised developments
We aim to deal fairly with all concerns about unauthorised development and must establish the facts before considering whether we should take any enforcement action. There are published service standards and published guidance to landowners that become the subject of a planning enforcement investigation.
We are not required to take enforcement action wherever a breach of planning control is confirmed. We decide whether we should take enforcement action, based on whether the development causes harm in planning terms.
Issuing an enforcement notice is usually seen as a last resort. Officers are able to resolve many issues through discussion, leading to action which is taken voluntarily by landowners as a response to officer advice.
Our enforcement policy
Because the issue of an enforcement notice is a discretionary power granted by the Planning Acts, we have published a policy to act as a guide to the way in which we will undertake what is often a very sensitive area of work. You can view/download this (see downloads section of this page).
Some cases do, however, require swift and decisive action.
Further information and guidance on planning enforcement
You can find more information on planning enforcement in the following publications: Planning Enforcement - a guide for owners and occupiers, and Planning Enforcement, how investigations are handled (available for you to view/download from the downloads section of this page).
Last reviewed: 29 - 06 - 2015