What action we take

If we find that a breach of planning control has occurred, we can take enforcement action. However before such action is taken we will give people the opportunity to put things right. This could involve the Council asking the person responsible to apply for planning permission retrospectively.

Retrospective planning permission

If it is considered that the development may receive planning application, the person responsible for the work may be invited to apply for permission retrospectively. Anyone affected by the development would then be consulted before a decision is made whether to grant permission.

However, if no application is made, or the breach is a significant one, then formal action would be considered. This could include serving an enforcement notice. This would only be a last resort: formal action will only be taken if other means of resolving the breach have not been successful.

Enforcement notice

This is a legal document that can be served on people who have carried out development without the necessary permission. It will set out the measures that are needed to remedy the breach, and the date by which these measures should be implemented. For example the notice could require:

  • An unauthorised use to stop
  • The unauthorised building to be removed or part removed
  • Changes to be made to the unauthorised building to make it more acceptable

There is a right of appeal against an enforcement notice - see Appealing against an enforcement notice for details about how to do this.

However if an appeal is dismissed and the notice is upheld, it is a criminal offence not to carry out the works required within the time period stipulated. This means the Council could take court action, which could result in a substantial fine.

Last reviewed: 07 - 05 - 2014

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