About planning enforcement


The Planning Enforcement Team investigates alleged breaches of planning control. These include:

  • Breaches of planning conditions
  • Unauthorised changes of use of buildings and land
  • Unauthorised development

The statutory basis for planning enforcement action is contained in the following documents:

  • Town and Country Planning Act 1990
  • Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act 1991
  • Background advice is given to Local Planning Authorities by Central Government in Planning Policy Guidance 18 (PPG18) Enforcing Planning Control

Enforcement is a complex area, particularly as The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 seeks to achieve a balance between freedom of landowners to use and alter their land or properties, whilst at the same time needing to safeguard amenities against significant harm.

The aim of enforcement is not to punish those who have broken planning regulations, but to achieve a balance between amenities and the need to enable acceptable development, whilst remedying any significant harm done to amenities or land.

Any developers and landowners who proceed with development without the necessary consent will do so at their own risk. Even if development has already started, you should not assume that we will grant retrospective consent after the initial development.

Any action which is taken by the local planning authority must not be based on irrational factors. We must also consider any relevant facts.

To view copies of enforcement notices see related downloads.

Find out more about how we deal with reported breaches of planning control by downloading the Planning Enforcement Protocol, available from this page.

Last updated: 16/03/2017 09:55