Breaches of Planning Control

What is a breach of planning control?

A breach of planning control is defined in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as "the carrying out of a development without the required planning permission, or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted". Examples of breaches of planning control:

  • Building work, engineering operations and material changes of use, which are carried out without planning permission
  • Development that has planning permission but is not carried out in accordance with the approved plans
  • Failure to comply with conditions or the terms of a legal agreement attached to a permission or consent
  • Demolition in conservation areas, without planning permission
  • Works carried out to a "listed" building, without listed building consent being granted
  • Removal of, or works carried out, to protected trees and hedgerows without consent being granted or proper notification given
  • Advertisements which require express consent under the Advertisement Regulations, but are displayed without consent being granted

Visit our Planning enforcement guidance page

What happens when breaches of planning control are confirmed?

If the breach is minor, we might take no further action other than asking for a retrospective application if it:

  • is in line with Local Plan policies, or
  • is immune from enforcement action, due to the passage of time.

What happens when breaches of planning control are unacceptable?

If the breach is unacceptable and could not be resolved by an approved application we will:

  • ask for a use to cease, or unauthorised development to be removed.
  • Issue a formal notice where necessary and expedient.

If we are unable to complete our investigations and need further time, we will tell you. We may also require additional information from you relating to the breach, for example a diary of events.

What is not dealt with by planning enforcement?

  • Neighbour disputes
  • Land ownership and boundary disputes
  • Mineral and waste complaints


Planning Office

Town Hall
Station Road
CO15 1SE

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