Planning enforcement action

The Council will only take enforcement action when it is considered practical to do so. Formal action will not be undertaken purely to regularise breaches of planning control.

In deciding whether to take enforcement action, the Council will take the core strategy into consideration. The core strategy forms part of the Council's local development framework and all relevant government circulars and guidance notes.

In considering practicality, the Council must look at whether or not the breach is in the public interest or the natural environment or unacceptably affects:

  • public amenity
  • existing land uses
  • buildings which merit protection

Any action taken will always be proportional to the breach of planning control to which it relates.

Where the breach has been considered acceptable in planning terms, the person responsible will be asked to submit a retrospective planning application to normalise the situation.

Formal action will not be taken against technical or trivial breaches of planning control which have no material effect on amenity.

Local enforcement plan 2019

The local enforcement plan outlines the Council’s response to the National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) and sets out how the Council investigates alleged cases of unauthorised development, what action it will take when appropriate to do so and the monitoring it will carry out of the implementation of planning permissions. It aims to give guidance on what we can do and how we balance the demands on our services against the resources available to us.

Please note: planning law can be very complicated and this document is only a guide.​