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Planning enforcement

The council monitors developments to check they continue to comply with planning conditions, and reacts to potential breaches reported.

We can take action against development or use of land taking place without necessary planning or other related permissions.  Additionally, the council can act against unauthorised works to protected trees, such as those in a conservation area, and deals with complaints made about high hedges.

We try to resolve any breaches in a controlled but flexible manner. The Council's planning enforcement powers are discretionary and we should not take further action simply because there has been a breach in planning control.  Wherever possible and appropriate, this will be through negotiation with the parties involved. However, where no agreement can be reached or where there has been a deliberate abuse of the system, formal enforcement action will be taken.

Types of action include issuing notices to remedy a breach within a certain number of days and ordering an immediate stop to any activity that is in breach of planning control.

The final stage of a planning enforcement action can be prosecution in the courts, generally after a notice has not been complied with. This can lead to a conviction and a fine. In exceptional circumstances, the council can apply for an injunction when it is believed that a serious breach is occurring or imminent.

The Council does not deal with boundary issues, party walls or restrictive covenants, these are civil matters to redress.

Planning enforcement policy

Anonymous complaints will not normally be pursued unless other evidence suggests that the breach is causing serious harm to the environment or the amenity of residents.

You can fill in this report a breach form or write to us using the address below if you wish to report a suspected breach.

Enforcement and Monitoring Officer, South Ribble Borough Council, Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland PR25 1DH

Covid 19 Interim Arrangements -  Construction Working Hours

On 13th May 2020 the Government published a written ministerial statement on planning and construction hours. The statement expects local planning authorities to approve requests to extend construction working hours temporarily to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines until 9pm Monday to Saturday, unless there are very compelling reasons against this.

The statement goes on to say developers should expect their local planning authority to grant temporary changes to construction working hours until 9pm or later, 6 days a week, wherever possible and where construction working hours are controlled by planning condition.

A developer wishing to amend their conditioned construction working hours should contact their local planning authority. They will be able to tell you whether they are happy to agree amended working hours informally, or whether you need to submit a formal application.

Where there are modest or short-term changes to construction working hours, this may be agreed informally with the local planning authority and they should use their discretion to not enforce against a breach of working hours.

Where long or more significant changes to working hours are required, a formal application may be requested by the local planning authority. In doing so, it will be important for applicants to consider potential impacts and, where necessary, to put forward plans to manage concerns, drawing on existing good practice.

In view of the above SRBC are putting the following arrangements in place these will be subject to review  as the current circumstances evolve.

All requests to vary hours must be in writing if they are within the hours of 7.30am - 9pm Mon to Saturday. If the request is outside of these times, then a Section 73 application will be required to be submitted.

The written request must include the  following information:

  • Existing Hours of Work
  • Proposed Hours of Work
  • Proposed duration for the change to hours of work
  • Proposed type of work /activities during the extended period i.e. internal fit-out or constructing foundations.
  • Any mitigation measures that will be put in place to facilitate the extended hours
  • Contact name, telephone number and email address for the site manager/agent

All requests will be responded to within 5 working days.

Updated information as of 13 March 2020

Please be aware that on 13 March 2020 the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP laid an urgent Written Ministerial Statement before Parliament regarding the enforcement of planning conditions related to food deliveries, particularly at night, in response to the coronavirus.

South Ribble Borough Council will be implementing the guidance as laid out in the statement:

  • As a matter of urgency, we will take a positive approach to our engagement with food retailers and distributors, as well as the freight industry, to ensure planning controls are not a barrier to food delivery over the period of disruption caused by the coronavirus. 
  • We will not seek to undertake planning enforcement action which would result in unnecessarily restricting deliveries of food and other essential deliveries during this period, having regard to their legal obligations.


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