We receive hundreds of reports about suspected planning breaches each year.
Following an investigation, most activities reported to us are found not to require planning permission, to be very minor or trivial in nature, or be related to matters outside of planning legislation.
Therefore, you should read the information on this page carefully before reporting a suspected breach of planning control.
Examples of planning breaches
Examples of matters we can investigate include:
- Developments without permission
- Building differently from the approved plans
- Failing to meet any conditions or limitations attached to planning permission
- Work to a listed building without consent
- Work to protected trees without consent
- Advertising without consent
- Untidy land or buildings
Breaches we cannot investigate
The following issues are not considered planning breaches and we cannot investigate them:
- Breaches of deeds or covenants, trespassing and damage to private property - you'll need to seek your own legal advice
- Party wall disputes - read the government's guidance on resolving party wall disputes.
- Dangerous buildings and structures - see how to report dangerous buildings to us.
- Health and safety matters - view information about health and safety complaints.
- Obstructions or diversions to public Rights of Way - view information and advice about Rights of Way.
- Noise disturbances, fly-tipping and anti-social activity - how to report types of anti-social activity.
- Environmental incidents - report environmental incidents to the Environment Agency
- Work that does not need planning permission or that has been approved
Before you report a planning breach
Before reporting a planning breach, you should:
- See what work can be done without permission - not all construction needs planning permission.
- Search for planning applications - you should check to see if the development you're concerned about has planning permission, what they've got permission for and view any conditions relating to the planning approval.
How to report a planning breach
You can report a breach in planning regulations using our online form.
You can upload photographs to the form. We would strongly encourage you to provide photographs if it is appropriate as this can significantly speed up the time it takes for us to investigate your report.
We do not accept anonymous reports but your details are kept confidential.
Minor or trivial reports
Enforcement action is discretionary and we're required to act proportionately in responding to suspected breaches.
Therefore, an activity that is minor or trivial, or those that could be more appropriately dealt with under other legislation, will be closed following a very brief assessment.