- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 12 Jan 2018
Planning enforcement officer
Planning permission is the legal process followed to decide whether proposed developments should be allowed to go ahead. Responsibility for planning lies with local planning authorities. Other than permitted developments, all developments require planning permission.
- Not obtaining planning permission for works that require permission (including; listed buildings, satellite dishes, advertisements, protected trees and so on).
- Not carrying out works in accordance with a permission.
- Not complying with planning conditions or other limitations.
- Changing the use of a site or buildings without obtaining planning permission where planning permission is required.
- Providing guidance about planning applications, breaches of planning law, retrospective planning applications and enforcement action.
- Investigating complaints to determine whether planning permission for works that have begun or are completed is required.
- Making site visits. Enforcement officers have a legal right of entry to investigate alleged breaches of planning law. If entry is refused, a warrant may be obtained.
- Assessing developments that are in breach of planning law to determine the harm done and the possible remedies.
- Entering into negotiations with the parties.
- Taking enforcement action.
- Checking compliance with enforcement action.
- Instigating prosecutions for non-compliance with enforcement action.
Possible enforcement actions include:
- No formal action.
- Retrospective planning application.
- Planning contravention notice (to require information or seek suggestions for how to remedy the breach).
- Enforcement notice (giving notice of what the breach is and setting out the steps the local authority require to remedy the breach).
- Planning enforcement order (when a person has deliberately concealed unauthorised development, a planning enforcement order enables action to be taken notwithstanding the fact that the time limits may have expired).
- Stop notice (prohibiting activities in a related enforcement notice).
- Temporary stop notice (requiring that an activity which is a breach of planning law should stop immediately).
- Breach of condition notice.
For more information, see Planning enforcement.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The real impact of late payment.
How to tell which infrastructure projects will work.
The government announces the biggest change in building safety for a generation.
Key messages from the UN COP 25 conference.
Reducing the risks of buying off-plan
A lighthouse history from Eddystone to Fastnet. Book review.
Telling the story of the Government Code and Cipher School.
Are you an experienced writer with a practical understanding of the industry?
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.
New Dwelling House at Grange View.
The causes of sinkholes.
The growth of megacities.
The restoration of Big Ben.