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 the 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 of use 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.
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
This dataset lists details of all formal 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. You can use the enforcement reference number to find enforcement notices on Public Access.
From 2012 onwards any formal action will appear on Public Access as part of any history search.
For suspected planning breaches/enforcement:
Report a planning breach
For updates on current planning enforcement cases: use the Contact the enforcement team form
- Telephone: 01494 461 000
- To report building works on Traveller owned land that you believe is taking place without permission please call our out of hours service on 01494 463 890.
Planning and building control opening hours and contact information