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Delays in planning services

We are experiencing high numbers of planning applications and requests for pre application advice. We apologise for any delays in responses to emails, calls and updates on other queries. Find out about new procedures we have in place to overcome these challenges

Planning enforcement

Builder and mixer

We investigate reports about building work which may have been done without planning permission, or possible breaches of planning permissions or conditions. We investigate an average of 800 suspected breaches of planning control every year.

What we do investigate

We will investigate cases of potential breaches of planning control, such as:

  • works being carried out without planning permission
  • unauthorised changes of use of land or buildings
  • not keeping to conditions imposed by a planning permission
  • works significantly different from the approved plans
  • works to a listed building or a protected tree without the proper consent
  • displaying certain advertisements without the necessary consent
  • untidy private land seriously affecting the amenity of the surrounding area.

Except for unauthorised works to listed buildings, protected trees and display of unlawful advertisements, planning breaches are not offences unless they are non-compliance of a formal enforcement notice. Some developments do not need planning permission because they are permitted development. Similarly some advertisements can be displayed without advertisement consent as they benefit from deemed consent rights under the advertisement regulations.

What we don't investigate

  • Disputes between neighbours, damage done to your property
  • Land boundaries or ownership deeds or covenants disputes
  • Work to indoor and outdoor shared walls. These are often known as party walls - see the Party Wall Act 1996 at GOV.UK
  • Anti-social behaviour, noise, parking or activities on highway (for example, vehicle sales and repairs) - report on My Account
  • Concerns relating to unsafe buildings or structures (building control)
  • Health and safety - report on My Account
  • Parking and obstructions on a public highway - report on My Account
  • Noise disturbance or other pollution - report on My Account

To report a suspected breach of planning control, you can contact us by filling in the online form.