Planning Enforcement

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 you can do to help

If you wish to report something that you believe to be a breach of control then please use the report form below. We will assume that the information you provide is submitted in confidence and will not say where we got the information from.

Anonymous complaints are not acted upon, unless there is considered to be a risk of irreparable and immediate harm to public safety, or the natural or built environment.

Please check our public access system to see if planning permission has been granted here:

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:

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. Please consider contacting Citizens Advice and/or a solicitor
  • Land boundaries or land ownership disputes. Please consult with your solicitor and check ownership here HM Land Registry
  • Works to party walls. Party wall guidance and advice: Party Walls and Building Work
  • Smells, noise and pollution, (these are dealt with by our Environmental Health Team)
  • Fly-tipping. Please report directly here for fly tipping on public land: Report Fly Tipping here
  • 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 Please consult with your solicitor and check ownership here HM Land Registry

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.

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