Planning enforcement is an important part of the planning process in protecting the environment. Whilst it is not always a criminal offence to carry out development without planning permission it may be a breach of planning law. The Council has the power to enforce that law.
Planning law can be very complicated so these pages are only a guide to the enforcement procedures and the powers of the Council. You may wish to read the Joint Local Planning Enforcement Plan for more information.
The council sees enforcement action as a crucial component of controlling development. All reports of possible breaches of planning control are taken seriously and investigated as quickly as possible in accordance with a priority system.
Certain changes of use of land or buildings; e.g. from a house to a shop.
Please note that within residential gardens there are certain rights to erect small buildings and extensions without planning permission, this is known as 'permitted development', for further information visit the Planning Portal website.
The following are also breaches of planning control that involve a criminal offence and may result in prosecution:
What is not considered a breach of Planning Control?