Unauthorised development includes:
- changing the use of land or buildings without getting planning permission first - one example is the use of a house for a business of car repairs
- carrying out operations without getting planning permission first. It is not just the erection of buildings that may need permission - works such as walls, fences and even the construction of hard standings often need permission
- non-compliance with conditions imposed when planning permission is granted
- carrying out development which is different from the details approved when planning permission is granted
Our aims are:
- To contribute to a fair, transparent and effective planning system by resolving planning breaches and by using enforcement powers in cases where unauthorised development unacceptably affects public amenity or the existing use of land or buildings
- To take proactive action to improve the environment of the area
- To monitor development under way to make sure it fully complies with the terms of any planning permission
How to report an unauthorised development
If you suspect an unauthorised development has taken place you should report this to us in writing by filling in an Unauthorised Activity Enquiry form (82kb). Telephone reports will only be acted upon if there are special circumstances or if there is special urgency, such as someone knocking down a protected building or tree. Anonymous reports will not be pursued, unless there is a clear and obvious breach of planning control.
For any further planning enforcement queries please contact us using the contact details on the right of this page.
Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) are used to protect selected trees and woodlands if their removal would have a significant impact on the environment and its enjoyment by the public. Priority for Tree Preservation Orders is generally given to trees which are considered to be under threat, for example where development is proposed. Trees in Conservation Areas may be protected by TPOs but where they are not, there is a duty to give us six weeks notice in writing before carrying out any work.
Hedgerows represent some of the most important wildlife habitats in lowland Britain. The Regulations are intended to protect important hedges in the countryside. Anyone proposing to remove a hedge to which the Regulations apply must give the Council six weeks notice and give the reason for seeking to remove it.
Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 gives local authorities powers to deal with complaints about high hedges. As long as you have made reasonable attempts to resolve your dispute, you can bring your complaint about your neighbour’s evergreen hedge to us. If you wish to make a formal complaint about a High Hedge, you should contact us to request the relevant application forms or you can download the form here.. You will need to pay a fee of £390 if you make a formal complaint. This is needed to cover the cost of the work in dealing with your complaint.
Further information is available on the Government’s website.