Enforcement and breaches of planning control

The Town & Country Planning Acts stipulate that planning permission is required for the construction or alteration of certain structures and buildings, for some changes of use of land and buildings and for the outside display of certain signs and advertisements.

A breach of planning control occurs if such building works, change of use or outside advertising takes place without the necessary planning permission or advertisement consent first being applied for and granted.

A breach of planning control also occurs if after a grant of planning permission, a scheme is carried out in a way different to the approved scheme or in conflict with conditions imposed on the planning decision notice.

If a breach of planning control is noted following investigation officers will always try to remedy,  through negotiation and voluntary action by the person(s) concerned. This is usually successful and it is only in a minority of cases that the council finds it necessary to resort to formal planning enforcement powers available.

Our investigation of alleged breaches

Our investigation of alleged breaches of planning control usually involves inspection of the land/premises concerned and other information being sought to establish the facts.

If appropriate, we interview the person(s) thought to be responsible for the breach. It is our policy to treat the identity of the complainant(s) in strict confidence.

Investigations can often be a lengthy process. We aim to acknowledge all enquiries within 7 working days of receiving them and ensure that the complainant knows which officer is handling the case.

We aim to update the enquirer regularly and as appropriate to the investigation. Where possible we will explain the timescales involved if further investigation is necessary.

If our investigations confirm there is a breach of planning control you will be advised of how we propose to deal with the breach.

In pursuing confirmed breaches of planning control, we normally seek to remedy the breach first through negotiation and voluntary action by the person(s) responsible.

If this is not successful, the council will then consider whether to take formal planning enforcement action. When pursuing confirmed breaches of planning control, we always aim to keep the enquirer informed of progress.

Let us know about a breach

If you are concerned about a possible breach of planning control and want us to look into it, please complete our online form or email planning.development@havant.gov.uk.

You can also write to us, please summarise your concerns in a brief letter addressed to Planning Development, Public Service Plaza, Havant, PO9 2AX.