What is Planning Enforcement and what action can be taken

​What is Planning Enforcement?

Planning Enforcement primarily deals with harm caused by breaches of planning control.

Types of alleged planning breaches we investigate are:

  • Residential extensions
  • Breaches of planning conditions
  • Commercial developments
  • Unauthorised changes of use
  • Haulage activities
  • Advertisements
  • Land uses adversely affecting amenity
  • Works to listed buildings
  • Works to protected trees and hedges 

Who can complain to Planning Enforcement?

Residents, Residents' Associations, Businesses or Councillors can all make a complaint to Enforcement.

When will Planning Enforcement consider formal action?

Formal action will be considered when:

  • Development is commenced or a change of use occurs without the relevant planning consent
  • Works are undertaken to trees covered by preservation orders without consent
  • Advertisements are displayed without consent
  • Demolition or alteration to Listed Buildings or buildings within Conservation Areas takes place without consent

Planning Enforcement will not get involved with:

  • Neighbour disputes
  • Investigation of land ownership
  • Boundary disputes ​

Taking action o​​ver a planning breach

The council has power to take action following a reported breach of planning control.

The decision whether to take enforcement action has to be well founded i.e. it must be expedient, and in the wider public interest, and the action must be proportionate to the level of the breach. We will consider this by thorough assessment of the relevant facts in each case.

Our approach will be no different to what it would have been when considering the merits of an application for planning permission before the development started. For instance if a development would have received planning permission, it will not be enforced against simply because it was carried out before planning permission was granted.

Formal enforcement powers will not be used against a trivial or technical breach of planning control which causes no harm to public amenity in the locality of the site.

The council is obliged to observe the Government's policy on enforcing planning control. This is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2012. This can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government website.

The key pr​​inciples

The following principles follow the guidance set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

We have to consider a number of matters before deciding the appropriate course of action. These include:

Types of formal enfor​​cement

The council has a wide range of enforcement powers. The course of action taken will depend upon the particular nature of the case. The range of powers includes:

  • Section 330 Notices & Planning Contravention Notices (PCNs)
  • Breach of Condition Notices (BCNs)
  • Enforcement Notices
  • Temporary Stop Notices and Stop Notices
  • Section 215 Notices:
  • Injunctions

These are explained in more detail in the Formal en​forcement powers document

Contact us

The Planning Enforcement Team

Development Management
Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Wakefield
WF1 2EB

0345 8 506 506