Planning enforcement

Reporting a potential planning breach

If you wish to report a potential enforcement matter to us we recommend that you follow this procedure, which will make sure that we deal with the case as quickly and effectively as possible.

Step 1: check if there is a breach of planning control

You should check –

  • whether the activity needs planning permission or another relevant consent, e.g. by looking at the Planning Portal, which provides useful information on what types of development require consent.
  • whether the activity already has planning permission or another relevant consent, e.g. by using our online planning register
  •  whether the activity is in line with an existing permission and the conditions attached to that permission, e.g. by using our online planning register and viewing the appropriate planning permission.

Step 2: report the breach or enforcement matter to the Council

In most circumstances the best way to report a breach or any other enforcement matter is to complete and submit the online planning breach complaint form.

In some cases URGENT ACTION may be required, for example where works are actually taking place that could lead to:

  • harm to a listed building,
  • the felling of a protected tree,
  • a significant health risk,
  • danger to the public.

In these instances we recommend that you telephone us as soon as possible.

When you report a potential enforcement matter, please provide us with as much detail as possible, including:

  • the address/location of the site,
  • the nature and extent of the perceived breach,
  • details of the impact of the works/development on you and on the local area,
  • the date on which works commenced,
  • the names of any parties (e.g. site owner, tree contractor, builder),
  • photographs of the works,
  • reference number of any relevant planning permissions,
  • your name and contact details.

Your name and contact details will not be given to anyone else, including the person or company about whom you have complained.

Investigation of reported possible planning breaches

We will investigate your complaint and decide whether to take any action. This action could range from “do nothing”, for example where there is no breach of planning control, to prosecution, for example where significant unauthorised works have been carried out to a listed building. 

If you would like to know the progress on or the outcome of our investigations and assessment, please contact us - but remember these cases can take months to be fully resolved.

Our enforcement work is guided by the Council’s Local Enforcement Plan (2017).

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Cotswold District Council
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