The planning enforcement team investigate alleged breaches of planning control including:
- Unauthorised building development
- Unauthorised changes of use
- Non-compliance with plans or conditions
- Protection of listed buildings and conservation areas
- Unlawful advertisements
To report an alleged breach of planning control please contact Planning Enforcement at the address shown.
Every year we get around 400 allegations from council officers, by telephone, by email and in writing. All of these calls are investigated although a certain number turn out not to be a matter for planning.
Typical of these are:
Disputes about party walls or property boundaries - In the first instance you should take advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau as the enforcement team cannot become involved in disputes about covenants or deeds.
Obstruction of private access or shared driveways - This is typically a private, civil matter and we suggest that you take advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Obstruction of a public highway is however a breach of the Road Traffic Act (1988) and should be dealt with by the police.
Complaints about the impact of a development upon a neighbours light or 'Right-to Light' as it is often known. Although the effects of a new development upon a neighbours light are always taken into account when planning applications are considered, the 'Right-to Light' law is completely separate from planning law and you should take advice on these matters from the Citizens Advice Bureau or your solicitor.
The majority of cases are resolved without the need to take formal action. In some cases, formal action, including legal action is pursued to secure compliance. Current government guidelines stress the need to try and resolve problems of unauthorised development through negotiation with formal proceedings being an action of last resort.