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How breaches are investigated

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How breaches are investigated

We will make an initial assessment which may include a visit to find out if a breach has taken place.

Our priorities are:

  • works to listed buildings;
  • demolition works; 
  • damage to protected trees.

We will aim to visit these cases within 1 working day.

If the building works are currently taking place and are causing significant harm we will make an initial visit within 10 days. For all other building works we will visit within 15 days.

If there is a breach we will allocate the case to a Planning Enforcement Officer. The officer will investigate and aim to contact you within 1 week of receiving the case and at key stages throughout their investigation. 

Enforcement powers

These include:

  • informal action/negotiation;
  • retrospective planning applications;
  • formal action:
    • planning contravention notices;
    • enforcement notices;
    • breach of condition notices;
    • discontinuance notices;
    • stop notices and injunctive action.

For more detail see our Enforcement Plan.

If you have undertaken work without permission

We will tell you what you need to do to resolve the resolve the breach.                              

For example:

1.    Stop the use or remove the breach.
2.    Submit a planning application.
3.    Make the development comply with an existing planning permission.

If you do not comply within the specified timeframe we may start formal action.

We will begin prosecution procedures for all breaches which are also criminal offences and for the failure to comply with enforcement notices.

Search for enforcement notice

For all successful prosecutions, where offenders have financially benefitted from their unlawful activity we will apply for a Confiscation Order under The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ("POCA").