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Planning Enforcement

Enforcement is an important part of the planning system. It is a discretionary function, which the council has decided to exercise.

Planning Enforcement Plan

Our  Planning Enforcement Plan sets out how we will address and prioritise breaches of planning control. 

It describes:

  • The range of powers available to us.
  • How we will decide whether or not to pursue planning enforcement action.
  • The process of planning enforcement. 

If you are considering reporting a suspected breach of planning control, or would like to know more about the enforcement process, we recommended that you refer to the Plan.

Common breaches of planning control and complaints made include:  

  • Building or engineering works that do not have planning permission, which are not development permitted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015, or any other Order.
  • Unauthorised works being carried out to a Listed Building (referred to in the Town and Country Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended).
  • Material changes of use of land or building to a different use carried out without planning permission or which is not development permitted under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015 or the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).
  • Development that has not been carried out in accordance with a planning permission.
  • Failure to comply with a condition (or the requirements of a legal agreement) attached to a planning permission.
  • Unauthorised works to protected trees.
  • Display of certain advertisements, without the necessary consent.
  • Untidy Sites, under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act.

What the Planning Enforcement Team will not, as a matter of course, investigate:  

  • Cases which are not valid complaints.
  • Boundary disputes – these are civil matters not able to be resolved under the planning legislation.
  • Dangerous structures – these are dealt with by Building Control contact:
  • Fly tipping – these are dealt with by Environmental Crime, contact
  • Noisy neighbours – these are dealt with by Environmental Protection, contact
  • Roads and public highways- these are dealt with by Kent County Council Highways
  • Development that is permitted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 as amended and/or the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) (referred to as permitted development)
  • Development that is immune from action (e.g. 4 years in the case of a dwelling house or operational development and 10 years in the case of a use or breach of a planning condition).
  • We will not investigate anonymous complaints, all suspected breaches must be reported in writing unless they concern a statutory listed building or a protected tree.

Report a Suspected Breach of Planning Control »

You can also contact the Tree Officers at and the  Heritage Team, who deal with statutory Listed Buildings, at or call 01304 872486.

Reports of suspected breaches will be dealt with in the strictest confidence and we do not reveal the identity of a complainant. 

Planning Enforcement Register

The council is required to keep and publish a Planning Enforcement Register which shows details of Planning Enforcement Notices, Temporary Stop Notices, Stop Notices and Breach of Condition Notices that have been issued since 2016.  Prior to this the planning enforcement register comprises hard copies of notices which are available to view by contacting the Planning Enforcement team

 Although not a statutory requirement the council also keeps and publishes a list of Section 215 Untidy Site Notices issued since 2015.



Phone: 01304 872470 

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