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Planning Enforcement

How to make a complaint

Anyone can make a complaint about an alleged unauthorised development or use.

When making a complaint, the council will ask for the following information to be provided (as far as possible):

  • the precise location of the site or property to which the complaint relates;
  • the exact nature of concern, for example the alleged breach of planning control;
  • an indication of any harm caused/being caused;
  • the name, address and contact telephone number of the person making the complaint. All complainants details will be treated in strict confidence and will not be made known to the public or any person who has an interest in the land or building which is the subject of the complaint; and if possible -
  • the identity of the person/organisation responsible for the breach and the date and/or time the breach began.

Complaints can be made online via the complaint report form, or you can contact the council in writing or by telephone using the details at the bottom of the page. All complaints will be treated in confidence with the complainants details not being made public.

Except in special circumstances, the council will not act on anonymous complaints.

The Planning Enforcement Team will investigate any alleged breach of planning control. Investigations will be carried out in accordance with the Council's Planning Enforcement Charter, a copy of which is available for download below.

The council has also signed up to the Government's Enforcement Concordat which sets the standard for investigating cases.

The majority of breaches of planning control are resolved informally and by negotiation with the owner/occupier of the land. Formal action, in accordance with national advice, only takes place where it is expedient and where other means to resolve the problem have been unsuccessful.

If it is decided to issue an enforcement notice, it is an offence not to comply with the requirements of the notice. Any person who is served an enforcement notice by the council does have a right of appeal. Appeals are considered by an independent Inspector from the Planning Inspectorate which is a government organisation based in Bristol.

For further information regarding submitting an enforcement appeal please refer to

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