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What Happens if I am in Breach of Planning Control?

Investigation and negotiation

First of all we will check to see if a breach has actually occurred. We do this by checking the planning history for the site.

We usually follow this up with a site visit which is often unannounced as this means we can fit more visits into the day. We will talk to you and explain what we are doing. If we think a breach is occurring we will explain your options. These may be:

  • To make a planning application particularly if we think the breach is minor or it stands a good chance of being permitted
  • Alter what is happening – for example reducing noise levels
  • Stop work or building especially if we think planning permission is unlikely
  • What you do following our advice will be up to you

Formal action and remedying the breach

If the breach continues and it is in the public interest to bring it to an end, then we will take action. Very often this is by serving an enforcement notice. This will explain:

  • What the breach is
  • Why it should stop
  • What you have to do to stop the breach and put things right
  • When you have to comply with the notice

We will also explain how you can appeal. If the appeal is dismissed you will have to comply with the notice and in the set timescales, if you don’t comply we can prosecute through the courts or carry out works ourselves (for example to remove an unauthorised building) and then charge you what it has cost us to do it.

We will handle enforcement in accordance with our agreed Local Enforcement Plan [pdf] 69KB. We have produced simplified diagrams showing the investigation and negotiation [pdf] 48KB and the formal action and remedying breach [pdf] 43KB parts of the enforcement process.

If you think you may have breached planning control do planningenforcement@ashford.gov.uk.

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