The compliance service receives enquiries about possible breaches of planning control from many sources including community groups, individuals and Community Councils.
Anybody wishing to ask the Authority to investigate an alleged breach of planning control may do so by one of the following methods:
- writing by letter
- by using the interactive map for reporting an alleged breach of planning control
- by completing the attached form
Written correspondence should contain as much information as possible. To enable the Authority to undertake an effective investigation, please supply the following information where possible:
- The name of the person or company undertaking the alleged unauthorised activities;
- The address of the building or site;
- Details of the complaint, when it first occurred, whether it’s continuing and the frequency of the activity; and
- Details of the particular problems being caused.
What standard of service can I expect?
If you register a complaint with the Authority, you can be assured that:
- Your confidentiality is maintained unless a judge or magistrate compels disclosure;
- A written acknowledgement of the complaint received is provided within 10 working days of receipt;
- An invitation is given to comment on any application for planning permission arising from the complaint; and
- You will be notified of the outcome of the complaint, when (if any) enforcement proceedings begin, and when they are satisfactorily completed.
The target aim for responding and serving an enforcement or similar notice needed to resolve a complaint will be 12 weeks. All enforcement notices carry a right of appeal, which can take a long time. You will be advised in writing every 6 weeks of the progress of the investigation.
What action will the Authority take once I have complained?
When acting upon a complaint received, we will investigate the matter by collecting information and conducting site inspections. We will discuss the matter with the person/company involved, however won’t release any information which could identify you.
If our investigation reveals that planning rules have been breached, the person/company involved will be informed of what action is required to remedy the situation, and when this must be done by.
The Authority has a range of powers to deal with suspected or actual breaches of planning control, ranging from an informal written warning to enforcement notices and sometimes injunctions. For each individual case, we will make an assessment of which power is best suited to achieving a satisfactory, lasting and cost-effective remedy.