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Report breaches of planning and building control

Within Planning and Building Control we can investigate breaches of either legislation, please read the information below to ensure you are reporting your issue to the correct department.

Breach of planning

Dangerous structures

Illegal works to protected trees

Breach of planning

Planning enforcement notices may be served when development is carried out without planning permission, or not in accordance with planning permission that has been granted.

Planning legislation provides the council with discretionary powers to take enforcement action although co-operation is sought before taking any action. Failing this we can issue an enforcement notice to stop work or ensure that the terms of the planning permission granted are complied with. Failure to comply with an Enforcement Notice is an offence and may be subject to a fine. Read more about our enforcement protocol.

Situations which can be considered for planning enforcement

These could include:

  • Unauthorised buildings or structures
  • Unauthorised advertisements
  • Unauthorised uses
  • Unauthorised work to protected trees
  • Unauthorised work to Listed Buildings
  • Compliance with conditions imposed on any planning permission

Not all development requires planning permission, as the works, or change of use, may not require planning permission or it may be Permitted Development under the Planning Legislation.

In cases where enforcement action is taken the Council will serve a Notice on the owners and occupiers of the site and others with an interest in the land.

We liaise with:

  • Building control
  • Environmental Health on noise and air pollution
  • Highways
  • Housing and trading standards

You can also view our enforcement process to understand how it works.

Complaints about unauthorised development

Complaints about an unauthorised development must be made in writing with the following urgent exceptions which may be reported by phone;

Report a breach online

Please note: anonymous complaints will not be investigated. 

LBS Enforcement Register

Please use Public Access to search for and view any Planning Notices issued.

Dangerous structures

Where a building is in such a condition that it may put people in danger, we have legal powers to investigate and require that it be made safe. All reports and investigations are carried out on a strictly confidential basis. We will not disclose any details that can identify you. We do not investigate anonymous complaints.

Report a dangerous structure 

What is a dangerous structure 

Typical examples of dangerous structures include:

  • walls leaning over or being unstable
  • roof tiles being blown off in high winds
  • chimneys damaged by storms

Buildings that are simply dilapidated or run down would not necessarily be considered dangerous.

Building sites

These are places of work, but can sometimes cause concern for local residents. However potential dangerous structures (such as scaffolding) on building sites are unlikely to be covered by the Building Act legislation. Please do contact us if you are concerned, however jurisdiction is usually with the Health and Safety Executive.

What action we will take

We will contact the owner of the building to remove the danger and make the building safe at their cost. If the danger is immediate and/or life threatening and the owner cannot be contacted, we will arrange for the minimum action necessary to remove the danger and will claim the costs back from the owner. All actions taken will be confirmed in writing and if available, the owner will be advised of the likely costs involved.

Illegal work or damage to trees

Permission must be granted for work on trees with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or in a conservation area. If this has not been done then the works are unauthorised and may be illegal.

If you see trees being cut down which you believe are protected

Contact us immediately.

Tell us as much as possible about the incident, for instance: a description of work being done; registration numbers of vehicles involved; if there is company name on the vehicles, take photos if possible.

Tell us your name, address and telephone number and the location of the tree(s), and we will get someone out as soon as possible.

We do not accept anonymous complaints.