Enforcement: Reporting unauthorised works

The Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and the Planning and Compensation Act 1991, affords the Council specific powers of enforcement against breaches of planning control. A breach of planning control can include development being implemented which requires planning permission, change of use of land without permission or not complying with details of a permission that has been granted.

The Projects and Compliance Team are responsible for investigating alleged breaches and taking enforcement action where necessary.  For more information, please view the Enforcement Plan.

Enforcement Plan (May 2013) (pdf)

Planning Enforcement Guidance 
Search for an Enforcement Case (Planning Online)

What constitutes a breach of planning control?

Examples of Planning Breaches.pdf (pdf)
Examples of Non Planning Breaches.pdf (pdf)

Reporting unauthorised works:

Should you wish to advise the Council of an alleged breach of planning control, you will be required to fill out an online form via the following link:

Report an alleged breach of planning control

Please note: we cannot investigate anonymous complaints. However, all complainant details are kept confidential and are exempt from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Enforcement Action:

The Council will investigate complaints about unauthorised developments. After the investigation, if the Council deems that action needs to be taken, we have the power to take different forms of action that will rectify the problem. The most common form of action is an enforcement notice. There is a right to appeal an enforcement notice. The details of how to do this are attached to the notice. 

Other actions include Breach of Condition Notice (requiring a condition attached to a planning permission to be complied with), a Stop Notice (requiring a use or all building work to stop), an Injunction requiring an owner or occupier of land to stop using the land for certain purposes, or a prosecution for planning offences which include unauthorised works to protected trees and listed buildings or displaying an advertisement without consent.

Enforcement Notices are a public register and they can be viewed online via our Planning Online system. 

Press releases: Overflow car park / Removal of car wash / Unauthorised works in Green Belt / Removal of unauthorised dwelling  / Untidy Site

Useful Links:

Environmental Health
Hertfordshire County Council Online Fault Reporting
Building Control
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
The Party Wall Act


Outdoor advertisements are controlled by the Town and Country (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 1992.  Some adverts may be displayed without having to apply to the local planning authority for express consent, subject to conditions and limitations.  Advertisements displayed in contravention of the Regulations are an immediate offence which is open to prosecution by the local planning authority, under section 224 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Advertisements – for further information, including temporary advertisements.

Suggested Next Steps: