Derwentwater reflections copyright Helen Reynolds

Customer Charter: Enforcement and Monitoring

I want to report a breach of planning control

If you are concerned that activity may be taking place in breach of planning control, please contact us.

We have adopted an Enforcement and Monitoring Policy and the central and local government Concordat on Good Enforcement (PDF). These set out the principles of good enforcement and monitoring.

You must bear in mind that a breach of control is rarely an offence. We have discretion to take action in the public interest and recognise that proper planning is not served by the pursuit of unimportant breaches, but that a failure to act when it is necessary may be maladministration.

You can help us by providing the information Planning Enforcement Complaint Form (Word document)

We will:

  • never knowingly disclose your identity as someone who has reported a matter, unless we have your permission to do so.
  • we cannot guarantee to investigate complaints made anonymously, unless they raise serious matters.

What happens to my report?

We recognise that accurate records are important and that you will want to know that we have received your report.

Within three days of receiving your report we will:

  • record it on our computer system and allocate a reference number
  • send you written acknowledgement, if you give us your address

We receive a high number of reports. On the basis of the information you provide we will prioritise our response.

We will:

Carry out an initial assessment, normally based on an investigation into the planning history and a visit to the site, for:

  • matters which cause danger to the public or irreversible damage to designated buildings or land, within three days
  • all other matters, within three weeks

Our initial assessments reveal a wide range of matters. Some of these can be quickly resolved, others may lead to detailed investigations and formal action. You will want to know what we have found and our response. We recognise that you are likely to want to be kept updated with on ongoing investigations and action.

We will:

  • advise you of the outcome of our initial assessment and for ongoing investigations any significant progress including any decisions we make

What happens after planning permission has been granted?

It is the responsibility of the developer to comply with their permission. We aim to take an active role to assist compliance and reduce the number of breaches of control.

We will:

  • give written advice to all applicants on the need to comply with their permission and conditions on it when we grant planning permission
  • issue a voluntary start notice with all decisions, which developers can return to us prior to starting work
  • deal with submissions required by planning condition and requests for working amendments in an accurate and timely manner