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Enforcement

Someone is developing land without permission, or not in accordance with their permission. What do I do?

You should make your concerns known to the local planning authority, which has responsibility for enforcing planning control in your area. You may be asked to keep a log of what you consider to be breaches of planning control. This could be helpful to your planning authority, if enforcement powers are used later.

Instead of taking enforcement action, my local planning authority has asked for a planning application for an unlawful development.

This is a standard practice. Before even considering pursuing enforcement action, a local planning authority should look closely at the development and decide whether or not it is acceptable in planning terms. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to invite the developer to submit what is called a retrospective planning application.

My local planning authority has decided not to pursue an enforcement case. What can I do?

You can continue to keep your log, in the event that the authority changes its mind. However, enforcement powers are largely discretionary.

There is no third party right to appeal against the decision not to enforce. It may be possible to seek judicial review on the grounds that the way in which the authority handled the case was flawed.

Visit: Judiciary of England and Wales Guidance on the Judicial Review Process (external link)