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Planning Enforcement’s role is to investigate and resolve breaches of planning control. If a breach of control is identified the team will, in all instances, negotiate with transgressors to rectify or regularise the breach.  If negotiations fail, the Council will assess the expediency of taking formal action.  It should be noted that not all breaches will result in formal action.  The Council will only take such action where it is proportionate and appropriate to do so in the public interest.

What is a breach of planning control?

A breach of planning control is:

  • carrying out development without the required planning permission, or 
  • failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted.

What we do not investigate

We do not investigate:

What we can investigate

The Enforcement team can investigate breaches of planning control that are brought to its attention from any source, including internally from its own officers, or externally from members of the public, councillors etc. Breaches that will be investigated are:

  • Breaches of condition
  • Breaches of planning permission/approved plans
  • Breaches of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO)
  • Unauthorised uses of land or buildings
  • Unauthorised works to a tree in a conservation area or covered by a TPO
  • Unauthorised works to a listed building
  • Unauthorised advertisement displays
  • Unauthorised traveller encampments
  • Untidy land. 

Before making a complaint

Things to consider before making a complaint about a possible unauthorised development are:
  • Has it got planning permission? You can check this on our website by using our Planning Applications Search facility or our Local Information Service (map-based).
  • Does it need planning permission? There are many forms of development that are permitted under Government legislation and do not require planning permission.  The interactive house below shows what can be done under permitted development rights.
If you need further advice as to whether a breach of control has taken place please refer to our FAQs.

Making a complaint

Please be aware that we do not accept anonymous complaints unless in they relate to criminal activity in connection with Listed Buildings, Tree Preservation Orders or trees in conservation areas

To process your complaints we will require your name, address, telephone and email address if you have one, as this will help us to keep you informed about progress.

To make a complaint please email planningenforcement@stalbans.gov.uk, telephone us on 01727 866100 or write to:

Planning Enforcement
Planning & Building Control
St Albans DC
Civic Centre
St Peters Street
St Albans

Date of last review: 26 August 2016