Planning Enforcement & Monitoring

Planning Enforcement

The Council is strongly committed to the effective enforcement of planning legislation. The Planning Enforcement team's role is to investigate suspected or alleged breaches of planning control.


The Council has adopted a  Icon for pdf Planning Enforcement Policy [1.55MB] on 1st April 2018 which gives customers clear guidance on how complaints will be prioritised and dealt with and the timescales set for dealing with the different types of issue. 

Reporting an alleged breach

If you suspect that there is a breach of planning control, please let us know. 

Before you do, please note the following:

  • Complaints must relate to planning matters - we will not get involved with boundary disputes, parking on the highway, covenants etc.
  • Not all development requires planning permission from the Council - see Permitted Development
  • Planning permission may have already been granted for the work. You can view planning applications via Public Access

All planning enforcement complaints must be made in writing.

You can complete the Planning Investigation Complaint Form or you can email providing details of the location and nature of the breach of planning control, details of the harm you perceive is being caused by the alleged breach and full contact details for yourself.

Your details will be kept confidential unless the Council is ordered to release them. Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated. If you do not want to give your details you may wish to consider contacting your Local Councillor or Parish or Town Council  to make representations on your behalf.

If the matter is urgent, a Planning Enforcement Officer can be contacted on 01494 732701. Complaints taken by telephone must be confirmed later in writing or by email.

What happens next?

On receipt, your complaint will be acknowledged and you will be given details of the Officer dealing with your request. In due course, you will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.

Things to note

Planning enforcement investigations are often complex, involving evidence collection and research. It often therefore takes time for the Officer to establish whether there is a breach of planning regulations.

The purpose of Planning Enforcement is to resolve any harm being caused by a breach, and therefore it is usual, if a breach is identified, to give a reasonable time for a retrospective planning application to be submitted, or for further works to be carried out to overcome that harm. Only if the Planning Enforcement Team is unsuccessful in achieving this through negotiation is formal action considered. Formal action will often involve an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. The Council therefore cannot normally take immediate action to put something right. 

The Council's Enforcement powers are discretionary and ultimately it may be determined that it is not expedient to take any action in relation to matters arising from a complaint. Enforcement powers cannot be used to punish people for not complying with planning requirements. 

The Council maintains a register of all sites where there is a current enforcement or stop notice. For further information please contact the enforcement team.