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Planning control regulates the development and use of land to make sure that changes to our physical surroundings are right for their purposes and location. Planning enforcement investigates alleged breaches of planning control.

A breach of planning control is defined in the Town & 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."

Reporting a Planning Breach

You may report a suspected breach of planning control by using our online form at the bottom of this page.

All investigations are carried out on a strictly confidential basis and the source of the complaint will not be revealed. Anonymous cases can be difficult to investigate and are not normally accepted.

Planning Enforcement Procedure

The Council has recently adopted a Planning Enforcement Procedure which explains how breaches of planning control are dealt with. 

Icon for pdf MDC Local Enforcement Plan [423.73KB]

Consequences of Breaching Planning Control

You may encounter several problems if you do not obtain the relevant planning permission or consent from the Council. This could include the possibility of major costs from potential future enforcement action or difficulty in selling your property.

If you carry out works without permission, then the Council may take immediate enforcement action or alternatively invite you to submit a planning application if the works have the potential to be acceptable. Should this application fail then it is likely that enforcement action will be taken.

Such action may legally require you to modify or remove the unauthorised works. The same situation applies if you change the use of land without the necessary planning permission.

If you are considering any works to your property, then the most sensible approach would be to apply for pre-application advice here: Pre Application Advice  

Register of Enforcement Notices

The Register of Enforcement Notices provides details of Enforcement Notices that have been issued by the Local Planning Authority. 

This Register includes:

  • Breach of Condition Notices
  • Stop Notices
  • Temporary Stop Notices
  • Enforcement Notices
  • S215 Notices

Some copies of these notices can be found here: Enforcement Notices

All others can be found by contacting us by Email:

Confirmation of Enforcement Action

Should you wish to receive in writing from the Planning Service either that no enforcement action will be taken following an investigation or that an enforcement notice will be withdrawn, this can be confirmed by letter for a fee of £100.

To request this service please contact us by Email:

Will the Enforcement Team provide me with updates or information about the investigation?

No. Under the General Data Protection Regulations the Council has a duty to protect the privacy of the person who is the subject of the complaint as we do for the person reporting the complaint.  Therefore, we are no longer able to provide you with any updates or information about the matter during the course of our investigation. Such information is also likely to be exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. You will be provided with a summary of our findings once the investigation has been concluded.