new building

What is a breach of planning control?

There are two main ways in which a breach of planning control can occur:

  • Building works or engineering operations or changes in the use of land or buildings that are carried out without the necessary planning permission.

However, not all building/engineering work or changes of use require planning permission. Many are either considered not to be development at all or are defined as 'permitted development', meaning that an application for planning permission is not necessary. For example, the erection of a small house extension or a garden shed within specified limits may not need planning permission (being classed as 'permitted development'). Help in understanding 'permitted development' can be found on the Planning Portal Website.

  • Where planning permission has been granted but the approved plans and/or the conditions attached to the approval have not been followed properly.

For example, a building may be larger than shown on the approved plans or a condition that specifies the working hours of a business may have been breached. To assist in identifying such breaches we liaise with the local authority building control departments. Where a breach is suspected, a site visit will be carried out to ensure the development is taking place in accordance with the approved plans.

  1. Enforcement
  2. What is a breach of planning control? (you are here)
  3. Enforcement procedures
  4. How to report a breach of planning control
  5. What do we do next?
  6. How do we take formal action?
  7. What happens after Enforcement Notices are served?
  8. Government guidance
  9. Enforcement powers
  10. Why can enforcement action take so long?
  11. Complaints about the enforcement service
  12. How we will use your information


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