Planning Enforcement Policy
The Development Control service operates in connection with the Council’s statutory role as local planning authority in the regulation of the use and development of land and buildings under the Planning Acts and related legislation.
Given the high quality of its buildings, townscape, open spaces and riverside and its important historic associations, the enforcement of planning controls is very important to the Borough in order to:
- Protect it from the effects of unacceptable development.
- Remedy the unacceptable harmful effects of unauthorised development.
- Help protect the credibility of the planning system, and to ensure fairness for those who do adhere to planning controls
- Ensure that works and uses are carried out in compliance with planning permissions and conditions unless variations are properly justified on planning grounds.
- Ensure the adopted planning policies applicable to this borough are properly implemented.
It is an important principle of the planning system of this country that the use of formal planning enforcement action is a discretionary power of the Council that, in most cases, is only justified to remedy a harm caused by a breach in control. Further explanatory information and frequent questions and answers about planning enforcement are given on the Council’s web site.
It should also be noted that, other than in respect of works to a listed building, the felling or lopping of trees covered by Tree Preservation Order or the display of a sign or advertisement, it is not illegal to carry out works without the benefit of planning permission or other related consents. Works carried out without the benefit of planning permission are termed as being “unauthorised”. The retention of unauthorised works only becomes illegal if such works are retained in contravention of an Enforcement Notice that has come into effect and is not the subject of a current appeal.
Purpose and scope
The purpose of the Development Control Enforcement Policy is to set out the ways in which this service will enforce its powers in accordance with the principles adopted by the department as a whole and taking into account statutory guidance and requirements.
The policy sets out what businesses, residents and others affected by its regulatory responsibilities can expect from the service and assists staff in applying enforcement powers in a consistent and fair way. The policy applies to all staff with planning enforcement responsibilities and it will be reviewed as necessary in response to changing circumstances, such as new legislation or guidance.
Download of the Development Control enforcement policy(pdf, 40KB).
The basic standards of customer service are set out in the leaflet, ‘’Development Control – Our Service Standards’’ available from our offices and via the Council’s web site. Follow this link to view the general standards and procedures for the enforcement part of the service.