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Report a breach of planning control

We will investigate all complaints about developments which may have been carried out without planning permission. You can investigate anything you suspect of being a breach of planning control online. 

When you make a report to us we'll ask for your details. We will keep these in confidence and only use them to update you on the investigation and decision.

So we are able to provide the most efficient and effective service it is helpful to have as much information about the potential breach of planning control as early as possible.

If the required information is not submitted we will usually request this from you as part of the complaint registration process before we are able to proceed with any investigation.

Report a breach

What is a breach?

In some cases development may be able to happen without notification being given. This is called 'permitted development rights'. In those cases we can make sure the development - while it may be unwanted - is carried out to standard. 

If there are no permitted development rights the following may be a breach: 

  • building work or a material change of use undertaken without planning permission being granted
  • development not being carried out in accordance with the approved plans of a planning permission
  • non-compliance with conditions attached to a planning permission
  • works to trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order or trees in a conservation area
  • land or buildings in a very poor condition which are seriously affecting the amenity of the surrounding area
  • building work or alterations to listed buildings or works which will affect the setting of a Listed building with listed building consent
  • unauthorised advertisements or signs
  • high hedges as defined under the Anti-social Behaviour Act. 

The following would not be considered a breach of planning control but may be able to be reported to us or other organisations:

  • land ownership disputes
  • neighbour disputes which are civil in nature, such as boundary disputes
  • breaches of a covenant attached to deeds and land titles
  • noise/odour issues - but you can report these to us online here
  • obstruction of the highway
  • parking vehicles on the highway. 

What action we take

When we receive a report about a suspected breach we will investigate based on priority. 

High priority planning breaches

Cases where there is serious and immediate danger to the public, and where unauthorised work is being undertaken which is non-reversible such as works to listed buildings or works to protected trees. For these cases, an initial site visit will be carried out within 1 working day from the receipt of the complaint.

Medium priority planning breaches

Cases where there is immediate harm to the amenity of the area through such things as noise, traffic, pollution, loss of light, increase in activity or physical impact or where works or operations are in progress. For these cases, an initial site visit will be carried out within 10 working days.

Low priority planning breaches

Cases where there is no specific impact on amenity or where the breach is of a technical nature only. This could include change of use, breach of condition, untidy land, unauthorised advertisements and minor developments. 

Other ways to contact us about breaches of planning control

Wherever possible we ask you to report breaches of planning control online. If you cannot do this you cand contact us by: