Planning enforcement

Planning enforcement refers to anything that requires planning permission but does not have it, or failing to comply with a planning condition.

Enforcement action is discretionary. By law we can only issue an enforcement notice where it appears that:

  • there is a breach of planning control
  • it is expedient to issue the notice having regards to the provisions of the development plan and to any other material considerations

See Planning Practice Guidance (external website) and our Planning enforcement plan [PDF | 410KB] (our statement of service provision) for detailed information about the enforcement process and action that local planning authorities (such as Wycombe District Council) can take

Breaches of planning control

We deal with these potential breaches of planning control:

  • building an extension, or making alterations to a building without planning permission
  • an unauthorised change of use of a property, for example running a business from a residential property
  • not complying with a condition imposed on a planning permission
  • work carried out that is different to what was approved
  • advertisements displayed or erected without permission
  • protected trees being removed or lopped without the appropriate consent
  • unauthorised works to a listed building

Please note, some extensions, adverts or uses do not need planning permission.

Most works undertaken by utility companies qualify as permitted development over which we have no control.

Some developments, such as small-scale house extensions and some changes may not need planning permission.

Matters such as neighbour disputes, traffic or highways issues, breach of building regulations are not considered breaches of planning. You should report these matters to the relevant authority.

Private issues 

We advise that you take legal advice from a solicitor or Citizens Advice for any private matters such as:

  • Boundary/ownership disputes
  • Covenant issues
  • Others building on or over your land
  • Fences built on your land
  • Builders working on an adjacent property putting materials or scaffolding on your land

Buckinghamshire County Council (Bucks CC) responsibilities

Bucks CC is responsible for the following issues:

  • Works to vehicles on the highway, including the footpath
  • The sale of vehicles from the highway
  • Vehicles parked in resident permit holder on road parking areas
  • Vehicles parked on double yellow lines within the special parking area of High Wycombe
  • Vehicles parked blocking a dropped kerb is an issue for the police
  • Work involving minerals and extraction
  • Any development relating to the deposit of waste

See Bucks CC (external website) to search for cases where Bucks CC has taken formal action.

How to report a breach of planning control

Enforcement register

Previous enforcement action

This dataset lists details of enforcement action between 1972 and 2012.

It includes two separate references for enforcement notices. If the reference you hold is an ENF number please use this data set to find the correct enforcement reference number. Use enforcement reference number to find enforcement notices on Public Access.

Contact information

To report planning breaches: use the Planning enforcement form

For all other planning enforcement queries: use the Contact the enforcement team form 

  • Telephone: 01494 461 000