Report a planning breach

Building work that does not have the right permission is called a planning breach.

A breach is also work that does not follow conditions that were set when planning permission was granted.

You can report a planning breach if someone is:

  • building an extension or making changes without planning permission, including putting up outbuildings or fences
  • not following approved planning permission
  • changing the use of a property or land without planning permission
  • working on trees without planning permission
  • working on a listed building without consent
  • putting up adverts without consent
  • bringing waste onto land, storing and sorting waste (excluding fly-tipping), or tipping waste above approved levels
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What you cannot report

These are not planning breaches:

  • neighbour disputes
  • issues with traffic or roads
  • breaches of building regulations

We cannot take action against work which is not classed as development, including:

  • clearing land of undergrowth, bushes and trees as long as they aren't subject to a tree preservation order and are not within a conservation area, or protected by a planning condition
  • advertisements displayed in accordance with the advertisement regulations
  • operating a business from home on a low key basis

View more information on the Planning Portal website.

After you've reported a breach

When we receive your enquiry, we will:

  • let you know that we’ve received it within 4 working days
  • look into the alleged breach, and we may ask you for more information or any proof that you have
  • take action where appropriate if it is a breach of planning control.

If there is no breach of planning control, we will explain the reasons why.

Formal action

We'll start formal action when negotiations to resolve a complaint have failed. We'll then consider serving legal notices requiring the breach of planning control to be resolved.

If the owner does not comply with legal notices we serve, we can take court action. This could result in a significant fine. In most cases, there is a right of appeal against the legal notices that we serve.

Further information

View the Planning Enforcement and Monitoring Plan for more information about our Planning enforcement team.