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Report works without permission

Where work has been carried out without the necessary planning permission, or if the terms of planning permission granted are not being kept, this is a breach of planning control. Not all breaches will result in formal action being taken. 

The powers that we have to take action are discretionary. We are not likely to take formal action, for example, in response to complaints about developments that would be acceptable if a planning application was made.

Some complaints may relate to matters that we have no control over and that we cannot investigate as they are not planning matters.

We cannot investigate complaints about:

  • Developments or work that does not need planning approval. Please see information on what is permitted development.
  • Someone breaching across a boundary and encroaching on your garden or land. If this is the basis of your complaint, you should contact your legal adviser.
  • Your neighbour's trees affecting your property. If the tree is on a private property then you should contact your legal advisor. If it is on council property or land, please contact your local housing office. If your enquiry is about a high hedge, please see our information on high hedges.

To check if work has permission, you can use our online search.

When we investigate an alleged breach we will make a decision on what action, if any, we will take. Even where there is a breach we may decide to take no action.

If you want to report work without permission you will be able to send photographs and/or documents to provide more information on the work you wish to report. Where possible we would encourage you to provide photographs as this may help us reach a decision more quickly.

Report something you think might need permission or consent

You will need to provide:

  • your name (we do not investigate anonymous complaints)
  • your address
  • details of what you are reporting
  • the address or location of what you are reporting
  • when did the work you are reporting take place
  • who is responsible, if known
  • any other information

Please email

You will get a formal response within six weeks to advise of our decision, or to advise that further investigation is needed before we decide. 

Where we do decide to take action, our aim will be to negotiate and work with the developer to resolve the issue. Only where this approach is unsuccessful will we consider statutory action.

If you report something to us your details will be held confidentially. However, if you request total confidentiality, this may limit our ability to take formal action as confidentiality cannot be guaranteed if the case leads to court proceedings.

More information on how we respond to breaches in planning control can be found in our Planning Enforcement Charter.

Page last updated:
29 Mar 2021

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