Planning Enforcement and Monitoring Plan

Last updated: 9 September 2021

4. Investigation of alleged breaches of planning control - what you can expect

4.1 The council investigates a variety of alleged breaches of planning control. Such breaches may include unauthorised building works, changes of use, breaches of planning conditions, unlawful works to trees and hedgerows. Issues that we are unable to investigate include party wall matters, fly-tipping, graffiti, noise concerns, building site health and safety concerns etc. More information about what we can and cannot investigate can be found on the council webpages together with relevant details of the relevant service, department or authority. You will also find information on how to report a breach of planning control and what information we need from you to pursue an investigate the matter.

4.2 Upon receipt of a report of an alleged breach of planning control we will undertake an informal triage process to ascertain if the report is a planning matter and/or if the matter requires further investigation. The triage process may include:

  • determining if it is a planning matter
  • identifying if it is permitted development
  • researching the planning history of the site
  • identifying any special designations or constraints, for example, listed buildings
  • searching other council data or publicly held information
  • contacting the person responsible for the alleged breach to discuss the works being undertaken

4.3 If the matter reported is not a council issue or if no alleged breach of planning control is identified, then the reporter will be notified accordingly and the planning enforcement service will take no further action.

4.4 Where the matter being raised falls within another council service area the reporter will be advised accordingly and their concerns and details will be forwarded on as appropriate for further investigation. Alternatively, the reporter will be signposted to the relevant service area to pursue the matter directly.

4.4 Once a decision is made regarding further investigation, the matter will be logged on the council’s database accordingly and given an appropriate level of priority. There are two priority levels which are set out in table 1 below and are determined by the type of breach reported.