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Report a planning breach

Planning enforcement is discretionary and we are not bound to act in all cases. Our decision will depend on:

  • acting reasonably and proportionately to the level of harm caused
  • whether it is in the public interest to act immediately
  • whether planning permission is likely to have been granted had an application been made.

It is rare that we would make an immediate intervention and in most cases we will wish to review all circumstances before agreeing the type of formal action to take. Our planning enforcement plan provides more details on how we deliver and consider potential breaches of planning control. Please note a breach of planning control is not a criminal offence (other than in a few limited circumstances) and so immediate legal action is not usually an option. We can investigate:

  • unauthorised development (construction without planning permission)
  • unauthorised change of use of a building or land
  • planning permission conditions not being met
  • land or buildings that have being an unacceptable eyesore
  • adverts displayed without consent
  • damage or destruction of a listed building or a tree with a Tree Preservation Order
  • a tree in a conservation area being felled or pruned without permission.

Unfortunately we won't be able to investigate:

  • ownership (party walls, boundary disputes and land ownership)
  • disruption (smell, noise, anti-social behaviour and overgrown trees)
  • site operations (health and safety and quality of work)
  • highway matters (vehicle obstruction and parking)
  • drainage concerns (sewers and soakaways).

How to report a planning breach

To report a planning breach you should first check the Planning Portal to confirm that a breach has been made and search our register to check if planning permission has been granted. You will then have to fill out an online form to report the planning breach.

Please note that we don't usually accept anonymous reports or any report that is considered to be malicious.

You can also find more information regarding enforcement and appeals.

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