Planning enforcement

It is a breach of planning control if you do not get planning permission or consent for a development that requires it. Breaches of planning control are generally not criminal offences. However, it is a criminal offense to display unauthorised advertisements or work on a listed building or protected trees without permission. Our Enforcement Strategy document sets out how we operate:

Breaches include:

  • Development (building/engineering works or change of use of property/land) without planning permission
  • Not keeping to the planning permission, either for an approved plan or the failure to follow conditions
  • Carrying out of works to a listed building without consent, including the installation of UPVC windows
  • Felling or working on a tree which is under a Tree Preservation Order or which is within a Conservation Area
  • Demolition of a building within a Conservation Area
  • Using a mobile home as a residence
  • Unauthorised advertisements
  • Fencing
  • Action can be taken regarding the untidy condition of land

Not considered breaches:

  • On-street parking of commercial vehicles in residential area
  • Operating a business from home but the primary use is still residential and there is no adverse impact on amenity
  • Parking a mobile home within the grounds of your home, provided that it is used for storage or an extra bedroom
  • Clearing land of undergrowth, bushes and trees, as long as they are not under a Tree Preservation Order or in a Conservation Area

Make an Enforcement Complaint

All complaints must be made in writing providing your name, postal address and contact telephone number using the Enforcement complaint form.

When you report a breach of planning control, details of your complaint may become public. However your name and address will NOT be revealed to the person or organisation involved in the alleged breach.

We will try to acknowledge your complaint within five working days of receiving it. At this time, we will advise you of the complaint reference number and the enforcement case officer.

High Hedges

Our role is not to mediate or negotiate between you and your neighbour but to act as a neutral third party on whether the hedge is adversely affecting the reasonable enjoyment of your property. We must strike a balance between the competing interests of you and the hedge owner, as well as those of the wider community.

Provided you have exhausted all other avenues for resolving a hedge dispute, you can forward your complaint to us by submitting detailed forms, support evidence, other documentation and a fee of £300

  • The complaint will either be dismissed or a formal notice will be issued to the hedge owner that sets out what they are required to do to fix the problem.
  • In most cases this would amount to a reduction in height of no less than two metres (6ft 6ins).
  • The notice would also set a time limit by when the work should be carried out and a requirement that the maximum height is maintained.
  • Failure to carry out the works is an offence which, on conviction, could lead to a fine of up to £1000.
  • In addition, a daily fine can be imposed for continued failure to carry out the work following prosecution.
  • We can carry out the work and recover its costs if the owner fails to do so.