About planning enforcement
What is enforcement, what can it do?
What is Planning Enforcement?
Planning Enforcement plays an important role in monitoring development and investigating potential breaches of planning control. The integrity of the development management process depends upon the planning authority's readiness to take effective enforcement action.
What powers do the council have?
The Council, as the local planning authority, has powers to investigate unauthorised developments and take appropriate remedial action where necessary. Breaches of planning control can take a number of forms, including unauthorised changes of use of land or buildings, work being carried out without the benefit of planning permission and breaches of conditions attached to planning permissions.
How do we assess what action to take?
When the Council investigates a breach, an assessment is made to determine what action, if any, is necessary. In many cases where a breach has taken place, there is no adverse effect on the character of the surrounding area, or on residential amenity. In these circumstances the Council will normally avoid taking enforcement action simply to regularise a development.
What solutions do we seek?
The Council will usually attempt to remedy unauthorised breaches through negotiation, rather than immediate statutory action. This may involve the submission of a retrospective application or a requirement to take steps to ameliorate specific problems with a development. In cases where the breach is serious and has a detrimental impact on the character or amenity of an area or building, the Council can serve an Enforcement Notice. Where the breach is particularly severe a Stop Notice may be served in conjunction with the Enforcement Notice, requiring immediate cessation of the unauthorised activities. Failure to comply with these Notices constitutes a criminal offence, and the Council can report the matter to the Procurator Fiscal or take direct action to secure compliance.
The Enforcement Register
The Enforcement Register contains a summary of notices served under the Town and Country Planning Acts and related legislation.
For details of current enforcement notices, please view the Enforcement Register.