Making a complaint about a suspected breach of planning control
Many breaches of the planning rules are brought to our attention by neighbours. There is a procedure established for investigating such complaints.
- Allegations that development has been carried out without planning permission will be recorded individually. We will acknowledge any complaint made in writing within five working days of receiving it and the complainant will be given the name of the planning enforcement officer dealing with the matter.
- Investigation will begin as soon as possible although priority will be given to those alleged breaches, such as unauthorised building works, which need to be dealt with quickly before work becomes too advanced.
- If the investigation shows that no breach of planning control has taken place, the complainant will be informed of this within one week of the investigation file being closed.
- Where it is clear that a breach of planning control has taken place we often invite a planning application. This has the advantage of allowing us to get full details of the work that has taken place and consult neighbours before making a decision. It is also in line with Government advice. It may also be possible to make amendments or impose conditions which overcome the concerns of neighbours. Once an application has been submitted it will be treated on merit like any other application. We will not invite an application where it is clear that permission will not be granted.
- If an application is not submitted or if one is submitted and subsequently refused, we will decide whether or not an Enforcement Notice should be served. If the unauthorised development is considered not to cause any harm, then enforcement action would not be appropriate. The complainant will be informed of the course of action decided.
- Anonymous complaints will be investigated but are generally given a lower priority. It is preferred that complainants provide their name and contact details to enable the Council to keep them informed. The name and address of any complainant will be kept confidential to the Council, although if you make representations on any subsequent planning application these will be available for the public to read.
To notify the Council in confidence of suspected breaches of planning control please complete our complaint form giving as much detail as possible.
- Environmental Health (for problems regarding, noise, smells or pollution) - 01992 785511 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Building Control (for problems regarding dangerous structures) - 01992 785566 email@example.com
- Citizens' Advice Bureau (for guidance on civil disputes including boundaries) -08444 111444
- Hertfordshire Police (Non-emergency) - 101
- Land Registry (for information on land ownership) - 0844 892 1111
- Hertfordshire Highways (for problems regarding obstructions to the public highway) - 0300 123 4047