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Planning enforcement

We have a duty to control development associated with mineral extraction and processing, the management of waste, and our own development. Some development may be authorised by planning permission, while some may not need it.

Planning enforcement for residential, commercial and industrial developments is dealt with by the local district or borough council.

Monitoring of mineral, waste and county council developments

Our monitoring and compliance officer monitors authorised mineral and waste development to ensure that it complies with the terms of the conditions attached to the permission. Development that does not comply with the terms of planning permission, or is unauthorised, is known as a breach of planning control. We investigate all possible breaches and, where necessary, take enforcement action.

Complaints / alleged breaches of planning control

The monitoring and compliance officer is responsible for logging, investigating and responding to alleged breaches of planning control.

This online planning practice guidance provides guidance on planning enforcement.

The taking of enforcement action, following the identification of alleged breaches of planning control is not a direct consequence, and technical or minor breaches which cause no demonstrable harm do not always lead to enforcement action. Relevant planning legislation and Government guidance states that local planning authorities have a general discretion to take enforcement action, when they regard it as expedient and in the public interest. Enforcement action should always be proportionate relative to the breach of planning control to which it relates. In addition, consideration must be given to whether it is 'expedient' to pursue action relative to the public interest, etc.

The online planning practice guidance states that, "addressing breaches of planning control without formal enforcement action can often be the quickest and most cost effective way of achieving a satisfactory and lasting remedy. For example, a breach of control may be the result of a genuine mistake where, once the breach is identified, the owner or occupier takes immediate action to remedy it. Furthermore in some instances formal enforcement action may not be appropriate. It is advisable for the local planning authority to keep a record of any informal action taken, including a decision not to take further action".

Reporting a breach of planning control

If you suspect unauthorised development or a breach of planning control is taking place you should contact us by email at

You should provide as much information as possible, including:

  • The site address or location and a location plan (if possible);
  • A brief description of the alleged breach and photographs if available;
  • When the breach started or took place;
  • Please describe what makes you believe the work is unauthorised;
  • The names and contact details of the operator or landowner (if possible); and
  • Your name and address, including a contact telephone number and email address (please note all personal information is kept confidential).