You can contact us if you think someone has done any of the following:
Building work without permission
Is using a building or land for something which it may not have permission for, i.e. carrying out a car repair business from a house
Put up signs or advertisements
Cut down or pruned trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order or in a conservation area
Is not following a condition on a previous planning permission
You can report a suspected planning breach online or by email email@example.com.
Investigation and enforcement process
In deciding whether to authorise such action it is necessary to show there is a breach, that the breach is causing harm and that it is in the public interest to take action against the breach.
Enforcement must be in proportion with the breach of planning control to which it relates. If the requirements of an Enforcement Notice are excessive those requirements can be overturned by way of an appeal to the Secretary of State.
There are two types of breach:
- Carrying out development without planning permission
- Not complying with a condition of planning permission
Our obligation to investigate
The Enforcement Officers within planning services investigate complaints received.
Once the Enforcement Officer has done a preliminary investigation and gathered information together we should be able to tell you whether planning permission is needed. If it is, and we think the development could be acceptable, we will normally suggest that the person concerned makes a planning application, this would however be without prejudice to any future decision of the Planning Committee.
You will then be consulted on any application that is made, at this stage anything you say in response to an application cannot be treated in confidence. If a problem cannot be rectified and the breach continues the City Council may issue an ‘Enforcement Notice’.
An ‘Enforcement Notice’ is a legal document which sets out what the problem is, what the person receiving it has to do about it and the timescale for complying with it. If a person does not comply with an enforcement notice, they can be prosecuted. If the Court finds them guilty, they can be fined. In most cases, the regulations allow anyone served with an enforcement notice to appeal to the Secretary of State for the Environment within a given time period. At each stage, we will keep you informed about what is happening to your complaint.
Planning Enforcement Team
Tel: 01522 873759