Planning breach enforcement action

If an unacceptable breach continues then we will consider using formal enforcement powers

Enforcement powers

Formal action can involve issuing one of the following notices:

  • Planning Contravention Notice
  • Enforcement Notice
  • Breach of Condition Notice
  • Stop Notice
  • Temporary Stop Notice
  • Section 215 Untidy Land Notice
  • Tree replacement notice
  • Planning contravention notice
  • Advertisement removal notice

GOV.UK provides comprehensive information

When will we take formal action?

Enforcement action is only taken when it is expedient to do so in the interests of the wider public interest, and the action must be proportionate to the level of the breach.

Planning enforcement powers are discretionary

When considering whether to use enforcement powers, we have to assess whether planning permission would be granted for the alleged breach of planning control. Formal enforcement powers will not be used against trivial or technical breaches of planning control which cause no harm to public amenity in the locality of the site.

It is not a criminal offence to do something without planning permission, however carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building, the unauthorised display of advertisements or damage to a protected tree is a criminal offence.

What if an enforcement notice isn't complied with?

It becomes a criminal offence and is likely to lead to further action, such as:

  • prosecution;
  • direct action, such as the demolition of an unauthorised structure; or,
  • injunction.