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

What is a breach of planning control?

Breaking planning rules or a ‘breach’ may involve:

  • 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.

If what is being carried out on the site is acceptable the council can consider it and grant a retrospective permission.

Other breaches can be illegal 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

Our approach to planning enforcement

We will handle enforcement in accordance with our agreed enforcement policy.

Reporting a planning breach

What happens if I am in breach of planning control?

Article 4 directions

Find existing planning enforcement orders

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