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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 planning enforcement process, please refer to the Councils Planning Enforcement 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). For technical advice and guidance on heritage assets including statutory listed buildings, conservation areas, Article 4 Directions or ancient monuments please contact the Heritage Team at conservation@dover.gov.uk or call 01304 872486.

  • Material changes of use of land or building to a different use carried out without planning permission or which are 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. For technical advice and guidance on works to a protected tree, including those with a Tree Preservation Order, in a conservation area or protected by condition please contact the Tree Officers at tree.enquiries@dover.gov.uk  

  • 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:  

  • 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), advertisements displayed without the benefit of deemed consent under The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 (as amended).

  • 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.

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


Report a Suspected Breach of Planning Control, unauthorised works to a listed building or unauthorised works to a protected tree »

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.


Email: planningenforcement@dover.gov.uk 

Phone: 01304 821199