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Report a breach of planning control

Planning enforcement is the process we use to investigate and resolve breaches of planning control and includes reports about development taking place without planning permission, breaches of planning conditions or properties and land being used for business or other uses without permission.

The majority of breaches reported are resolved by discussion and negotiation to the benefit of all parties. We have statutory powers which we use when necessary.

Examples of planning control breaches include:

  • Erection or new buildings and extensions to existing buildings where planning permission has been granted but approved plans and related conditions have not been followed properly 
  • Unauthorised works to a Listed Building both internal and external
  • Unauthorised works to a tree subject to a Tree Preservation Order
  • Changes of use of land or a building
  • Display of unauthorised advertisements
  • Untidy land or buildings

Planning breaches do not include:

  • Neighbour disputes
  • Land boundaries or ownership disputes
  • Works to party walls – Contact Citizens’ Advice for any issues or queries
  • Dangerous structures
  • Covenant issues
  • Smells, noise and pollution – To report this click here
  • Fly tipping – To report this click here
  • Use of development on highways or pavements

Make sure your report is valid:

  • Some work on properties is classed as permitted development, and so does not need planning permission. There are further details of this on the Planning Portal.
  • You should search our Planning Register, to check if the works you are concerned about are already the subject of a planning application.
  • We also advise you to read about Planning Enforcement policy, before submitting a report.

If you are concerned about your own anonymity, please be advised that enforcement complaints are kept confidential, communication will be treated so far as possible on a confidential basis. In the event that this breach proceeds to the prosecution stage, your communication may become available for public inspection. We cannot accept anonymous reports. However, your Cllr or Parish Council can make a report on your behalf. 

  1. How do I report a breach of Planning Control?

    If suspected unauthorised building work is causing immediate, serious or irreversible harm to neighbourhood facilities, a listed building, protected tree or conservation area, call us on 01935 462462.

    Suspected criminal activity that is about to take place or is taking place, e.g. disturbance to nesting birds, unauthorised works to protected trees, damage to listed building etc can be reported to the Police, especially if occurring ‘out of office hours’.  

    Before proceeding with a report:

    • Check to see if any permission exists or what permission has been potentially breached for the development you wish to report. You can do this online in the search a planning application area of the website.  You be asked to provide the planning reference number as part of the report.
    • If no permission exists, check to see if the work taking place does actually require planning permission as some works on properties will be considered as permitted development. You can do this on the Planning Portal.
    • You will need to provide an exact location of the alleged breach. Without this, we will not be able to investigate the report.
    • To help us with your report please provide photos or supporting evidence of the alleged breach. You will be able to upload this information as part of the reporting form.

    If no planning permission has been granted, or the works taking place differ to those that were allowed by the permission, or you believe permission is required, complete our online Report a Breach of Planning Control web form

    To report an issue you need to be registered for a My Account. This will save you having to re-enter information and allow you to track the progress of the report.

    * Please be aware that you will be timed out after 30 minutes of inactivity on your account. Please refer back to your account to ensure your breach has been submitted. * 

    In order to report an alleged breach of planning control you will need an account with SSDC, if you have not already registered. It is simple to set up and will only take a few minutes. 

    Anonymous or incomplete reports, or those not using the above form, will not normally be pursued. 

  2. How will the report be dealt with?

    Your report will be registered, triaged and passed to a case officer. Priority will be given to those that require swift action. All reports will be dealt with in accordance with our Enforcement Protocol.

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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