Planning enforcement may be necessary when planning rules are not followed.

What is a breach of planning control?

This might include:

  • Buildings being put up without planning permission or not being built as shown on the plan that has been approved
  • The use of a property changing without planning permission
  • A development being carried out without following the conditions of the planning permission

These planning breaches are not illegal. These will be investigated and if it is in the public interest, action may be taken. You can search our enforcement records online. We are currently updating notices issued before 1999, therefore some may have 99 as the case year. You may find it easier to search for these cases using the Interactive Map or telephone 01233 331111 for advice. 

If what is being carried out on the site is acceptable the council can consider it by way of a formal planning application and grant a retrospective permission.

Other breaches can represent a criminal offence and lead to prosecution in the courts such as:

  • Altering the inside or outside of a listed building without permission
  • Felling protected trees or taking out protected hedges
  • Displaying certain advertisements and signage without advertising consent

Please see the links above for more information on the our approach to enforcement, what is considered a breach of planning control, how to report to us and what happens if a breach has occurred.

Further planning enforcement information downloads

Download Planning enforcement policy (October 2016) [pdf] 339KB

Planning enforcement: Investigation and negotiation - simplified process diagram [pdf] 49KB

Planning enforcement: Formal action and remedying breach leaflet - simplified process diagram [pdf] 44KB

What happens after I have complained [pdf] 118KB

What happens if you carry out work without permission? [pdf] 306KB

Contact us

Email planning enforcement

Planning enforcement, Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PL

01233 331111