Our local policy and guidance

What is Planning enforcement?

Planning enforcement is a discretionary power and covers very complex issues.

The council has a duty to investigate complaints about development that may have been carried out without permission or consent. The discretion of the local authority is applied to enforcement cases to ensure that unauthorised development is dealt with in a way that balances the protection of buildings, the environment and the amenity of neighbours whilst at the same time ensuring that owners enjoy reasonable use of their property.

When is planning permission required

Planning permission is usually required for changes to the use of a building or land, altering or enlarging a building and displaying advertisements. However, some changes can be carried out without the need for a formal planning application under permitted development.

If a development is carried out without the benefit of planning permission it is deemed to be unlawful. It is not an offence (or illegal) to carry out buildings works without planning permission. If enforcement action is taken, it can become an offence if a failure to comply with the requirements of any enforcement action occurs.

Permitted Development

If a building operation is carried out under permitted development it cannot be subject to enforcement action even in instances where development is considered to cause harm as it is not a breach of planning control. The government set out permitted development rights for a variety of developments which do not require planning permission and therefore can be carried out without the control of the local planning authority. In these cases, the local planning authority are unable to take any enforcement action but can undertake checks to ensure compliance with national legislation which sets out permitted development rights

What is a breach of planning control?

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 defines a breach of planning control as; “the carrying out of development without the required planning permission or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted.”

The planning enforcement team investigate and take action against:

  • unlawful developments/building work/material changes of use
  • non-compliance with planning conditions
  • works to trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order or trees in a conservation area
  • land or buildings in a very poor condition which are seriously affecting the amenity of the surrounding area
  • building work or alterations to listed buildings or works which will affect the setting of a Listed Building with listed building consent
  • unauthorised advertisements or signs
  • high hedges as defined under the Anti-social Behaviour Act

Certain works or changes of use may not require planning permission. Where permission is not required, or where planning legislation permits the works, we will not be able to take enforcement action.

We do not investigate:

  • neighbour disputes which are civil in nature such as boundary disputes
  • land boundaries or land ownership disputes
  • works to party walls
  • smells, noise and pollution (these are dealt with by the Council’s Environmental Health Team)
  • fly-tipping
  • use or development on highways or pavements, including obstruction of the highways or parking vehicles on the highway (these are dealt with by North Yorkshire County Council)
  • dangerous structures.(these are dealt with by North Yorkshire Building Control Partnership)
  • breaches of a covenant attached to deeds and land titles

It is inevitable that development will cause some disruption to the local area. The Council will seek to minimize this through the use conditions requiring construction management plans and limiting hours of operation, where appropriate to the scale, location and duration of construction works of the approved development on development which it has control over.

The planning enforcement process can often be lengthy and involve complex legal and planning issues. Not all matters can be addressed immediately, so an instant response cannot be guaranteed.

The council has an adopted enforcement strategy which sets out how enforcement cases are processed and assessed. The information in the following pages will provide an overview of how the enforcement system within Hambleton works.

You contact details are only used to contact you directly to provide an update on the enforcement case.