If we receive complaints about development going ahead without the necessary planning permission or consent, we will try to regularise the situation.
This may result in the submission of a retrospective planning application seeking to either continue a particular use or retain an extension or structure. Alternatively, if the development is causing harm, we may seek to take enforcement action to remedy breaches of planning control.
If you have concerns about building works, or use of land or buildings being carried out without consent, you can report a planning breach online.
While we do not condone breaches of planning control, any enforcement action should always be appropriate to the related breach of planning control. For example, it is usually inappropriate to take formal enforcement action against a trivial or technical breach of control which causes no harm to amenity.
To carry out development without planning permission is not illegal (it is not a criminal offence). However, unauthorised works to listed buildings, preserved trees or the display of advertisements without consent are offences. In these cases the councils can prosecute offenders where this is in the public interest.
Planning enforcement register