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Report a suspected breach of planning control

We can only investigate cases where a potential breach of planning control has taken place.

Anyone who reports a suspected breach of planning control will need to give their name, address and contact details and a description of the breach.

You will need to supply the following information

  • Address of the site of the alleged breach of planning control  (our Form on the right allows you to indicate the site on the map)
  • state when it began
  • state who is thought to be responsible, including their name and contact details
  • provide clear photos of the alleged breach
  • describe the harm which is caused
  • indicate how you are affected.

It may take longer to investigate if this information is not provided.

If you click on the Report it link on the right, then you will be able to send through your complaint and it will allow you to upload photos, and all necessary information. 

The Planning Enforcement Team will not be able to accept anonymous allegations or reports, as the planning enforcement officers need the complainant’s contact details to provide updates on the investigation and/or actions that have been taken, or to request further information. The planning enforcement officers will ensure that the complainant’s identity is safeguarded within and outside the Council, though in some circumstances it may be necessary for the complainant to give evidence at an appeal or at legal proceedings. If someone does not wish to provide these details, a Ward Councillor or a Parish Councillor may assist with lodging the complaint.


A breach of planning control occurs when building or other works or a material change of use of land or a building takes place without planning consent.

Examples of breaches of planning control are:

• Not building in accordance with approved plans (following the grant of planning


• Failing to comply with conditions attached to a planning permission;

• Carrying out development which is not permitted because an Article 4 Direction has been made;

• Unauthorised works to listed buildings;

• Unauthorised demolition within a conservation area;

• Unauthorised works to trees subject of a Tree Preservation Order or in a conservation area;

• Engineering operations, such as the raising or lowering of ground levels and the formation of earth bunds, carried out without the benefit of planning permission;

• Display of an advertisement without the benefit of advertisement consent;

• Failure to properly maintain land so that it affects the amenity of the area;

• Failure to comply with a S106 legal agreement/undertaking;

• Unauthorised building works or changes of use of buildings or land;

• The formation of a new vehicular access or the alteration of an existing vehicular access onto a trunk road or a classified road (an A, B or C class road).

Matters that are not breaches of planning control

Examples include:

• Internal works to a building that is not a listed building;

• Obstruction of a highway or public right of way;

• Parking commercial vehicles on the highway or on grass verges;

• Parking caravans on residential driveways or within the curtilage of domestic

properties as long as they are incidental to the enjoyment of the property;

• Operating a business from home, where the residential use remains the primary use of the property and there is no significant impact on residential amenity or the character of the area;

• Boundary or land ownership disputes – these are a civil matter and cannot be controlled by planning legislation;

• Covenants imposed on property Deeds;

• Any development that is deemed to be ‘permitted development’ under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015 or in any statutory instrument revoking and re-enacting that Order, i.e. where it does not need the permission of the Council;

• The formation, laying out and construction of a means of access to a highway which is not a trunk road or a classified road where that access is required in connection with development permitted

• Clearing land of overgrowth, bushes or trees (provided the trees are not subject to a Tree Preservation Order or within a conservation area);

• Advertisements that are either excepted from deemed or express consent under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements)(England) Regulations 2007(as amended);

• Dangerous structures;

• High hedge disputes - these are dealt with by the Planning Enforcement Team under Part 8 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003;

• The removal of countryside hedgerows





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