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Planning Enforcement

From time to time, we receive written reports of possible unauthorised development that need to be investigated. 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:

  1. 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
  2. To take proactive action to improve the environment of the area
  3. 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.

All complaints are treated as confidential. In a very few cases, a complainant may be asked to act as a witness and give evidence. However, this is rare and we will discuss what’s involved beforehand.

The planning enforcement service also deals with complaints about High Hedges.

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Planning Enforcement contacts

 01246 242424

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General Enquiry

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Enforcement Policy

Unauthorised Activity Form

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