What if someone complains about you?
10.1 If you are contacted about an alleged breach of planning control you are entitled to know what the allegation is (but not who made it), and have the opportunity to explain your side of the case. Please remember that the investigating officers are undertaking their duties and they are looking at the case objectively with no pre conceived view. Please assist them with their investigation and treat them with respect.
10.2 If the complaint is not justified no action will be taken against you. If it is the Development Management Service will advise you of the details of the breach and how it can be put right.
10.3 Your co-operation will be sought to correct the breach, either by removing or modifying the unauthorised development or by ceasing the unauthorised work. A reasonable period of time will be allowed for you to do this.
10.4 In some circumstances you may be invited to submit a retrospective planning application if it is considered that permission may be granted.
10.5 If you are running a business which is threatened by enforcement action, you will be helped to identify alternative premises so as to minimise the possible impact on the business. This does not mean that the enforcement action will be delayed or stopped.
10.6 If you are issued with an Enforcement Notice you will be given the precise details of the breach, the reasons for the action, the steps required to overcome the problem and the time period for compliance.
10.7 You may be served with a 'Planning Contravention Notice' that requires information concerning the development carried out. This Notice is used to establish the facts of what has occurred so that the Council can determine whether a breach of control has taken place, and whether formal enforcement action is appropriate. The implications of not completing and returning the Notice will be explained to you.
10.8 There are several types of enforcement action [see '7 'What action can the Council take?'' above]. Further information and guidance on planning enforcement can be obtained from the Department of Communities & Local Government. Their website is: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-communities-and-local-government