Complaint made against your premises?
If a complaint is made about your premises, we will:
Not enter your property unless we believe that is necessary to do so. Our officers will always carry proof of their identity.
Carry out a full and independent investigation of the matter before deciding on any action.
Tell you what the conclusions of our investigations are. We will inform you of what you have done wrong, what we would like you to do to put it right, how long we will allow you to do this, and what will happen if you do not put it right.
Write to warn you if we decide to issue an Enforcement Notice or start prosecution proceedings against you.
We normally only use enforcement action as a last resort, where a voluntary resolution cannot be found. If you have gone ahead without the required permission the council may simply ask you to apply retrospectively.
Much depends on the nature of the development and its effect on neighbours. If the council considers that the development involves a breach of planning control, it may take remedial enforcement action.
It is not a criminal offence to carry out development, which should have first been the subject of planning permission. Enforcement action can only be taken where there has been harm caused to public amenity.
Enforcement action usually involves issuing an enforcement notice that sets out the measures needed to remedy the breach, and the date by which these must be implemented. You may be required to cease your activities, or demolish all or part of the building.
If you have not complied with a condition imposed on the grant of planning permission, the council may issue a breach of condition notice requiring you to carry out work to observe the terms of the condition.
Right of appeal
There is a right of appeal to the Secretary of State against an enforcement notice. If an appeal is dismissed and the notice becomes effective, it is an offence not to comply with it, and the council may decide to prosecute you. Enforcement proceedings are likely to be time-consuming and disruptive to your business. We recommend that you consult the council before you go ahead with your proposed development.
There is no right of appeal against a breach of condition notice and you will risk prosecution if you do not comply with it.