If building works or a change of use occurs without the necessary planning permission, this may be a ‘planning breach’.
Our planning enforcement service is here to investigate if the rules have been broken and take appropriate action if it is necessary to do so.
The law advises that enforcement action should not be taken purely to remedy a breach of planning control, but there must be evidence of environmental harm.
Examples of planning breaches include:
- breaching conditions attached to a planning permission
- not building in accordance with approved plans
- unauthorised demolition in a conservation area
- unauthorised works to a listed building
- removing or lopping trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order
- failing to keep a property tidy
- unauthorised engineering works, such as changes to ground level
- making a material change in use of land (eg from a waste tip to a golf course - a change from one type of shop to another would not be a breach)
The national planning portal website has more on failure to obtain or comply with planning permission.
The council receives more planning enforcement reports than it has the resources to deal with. Therefore, there is a need to prioritise action. To see how we do this, please read Brent’s planning enforcement policy.
Check existing planning permission and enforcement
You can check if planning permission has been granted already or whether enforcement action has already been taken using our online planning portal.
Things to keep in mind when reporting a breach
It is important that you keep in mind:
- ‘permitted development’ rules allow certain building works and changes of use without planning permission. In recent years, the government has extended these rights considerably and many house extensions no longer require permission.
- the development may already have been granted planning permission
- we have no control over most building works completed more than four years ago
- we have no jurisdiction over civil matters such as boundary disputes
- we do not deal with:
- breaches of the building regulations
- health and safety matters
- noise nuisance
- hours of building works
- car repairs on highways
It may be possible for us to resolve issues informally, or you may be able to do so yourself by speaking with the person involved.
Remember, in some cases the person may not be aware there is a problem, or they may have already been granted planning permission.
Report a planning breach
If you feel there has been a breach of planning control you can report it to us.