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Planning enforcement

The control of land use and buildings is essential to protect and enhance the quality of life, the built fabric and natural environment of the district.

What the service is for:

The Council recognises the need for the effective enforcement of development which requires planning permission. Public confidence in the planning system is dependent upon the Council's readiness to take appropriate action where there have been breaches of planning control.

Although immediate enforcement action is sometimes necessary, in most cases the Council will negotiate with a person responsible for the breach (the transgressor) to address the situation. This may mean that a retrospective planning application is sought, with additional works where considered necessary, or, in more serious cases, the removal of an unauthorised structure or cessation of an unauthorised use.

If however the matter is not resolved by voluntary action or a planning approval, then the Council will consider the expediency of taking formal enforcement action against the breach of planning control.

The Council's policy relating to planning enforcement is set out in full in the Local Enforcement Plan, an up-to-date electronic copy of which is in the download section on this page.

How you can access the service:

When reporting an alleged breach of planning control, it would be helpful if you could provide us with as much detail as possible including any electronic evidence such as photographs. Please contact us by completing the 'Report a breach of planning control' online form from the right hand side of this page.

Details required:

  • Your name*, address, phone number and preferably your email address.
  • The full address or a description of the location of the building or site.
  • The landowner or occupier's name.
  • What the breach involves.
  • How the breach is affecting you and residents in the local area.
  • The date you first became aware of the breach.

*In all but the most serious cases the Council will not investigate anonymous alleged breaches 

Your personal details will not be given out without your permission and will be treated as confidential. However, in certain more serious cases, when the Council takes formal action, we may ask you to give evidence at a planning appeal or in court.


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