What is Planning Enforcement?

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Planning enforcement is action we can take when works have been carried out without planning permission.

We can only take planning enforcement action if there has been a breach of planning control. A breach of planning control could be building an extension to a house, not complying with planning conditions which relate to a building or changing the use of land from one type of business to another

Below are several common examples of works that require planning permission. Please make sure you are aware of what work requires planning permission before you start and that way you can avoid any unnecessary enforcement action being taken.

  • Decking – any decking that is over 30cm high requires planning permission.
  • Advertisements – any advertisements or signs that are separate from the business premises themselves require Advertisement Consent. This includes vehicles and trailers with adverts on their side which are parked in laybys and fields.
  • Resurfacing of driveways – planning permission is often needed for these works
  • Fences – any fence that is more than 1m in height and next to a road requires planning permission.
  • Replacement of windows in flats – planning permission is usually needed for the replacement of windows in flats.
  • Solar panels – planning permission is required if the panels protrude more than 20cm from the surface of the roof.

The planning legislation is complex and not every type of building work requires planning permission.

Further information on how we deal with reports of breaches of planning control and what type of action we can take is available in our Planning Enforcement Manual.

If in doubt, please email

Published: 29 August 2012 - 8:30am