Planning enforcement and how to report a breach

A breach of planning control can occur when development which falls within the planning regulations is carried out without the required consent, or if a consent is not implemented in accordance with the permission. This can include the erection of structures, unauthorised changes of use of land or buildings, and ground works which can be classed as engineering operations. Breaches of planning control may require enforcement action and Local Authorities have powers to do this. There are a number of different methods and stages to the enforcement process depending on the particular circumstances and severity of the breach.

It is recommended that you search our online planning register to check if any works you suspect are unauthorised have the required consent. Some development including minor building operations, specific changes of use of land, and certain demolitions are known as 'permitted development'. These do not require planning permission providing they meet the criteria listed in the relevant legislation, either the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992 (as amended) or the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Scotland) Order 1997 (as amended). More informarion on permitted development can be found on the Scottish Government's website.

If you are satisfied to the best of your knowledge that the operations in question are unauthorised and are not permitted development, you should contact us via the details on this page. Please provide as much information as possible on the potential breach including the location and description of the works e.g. erection of building. You must give your telephone number and email address when making an enquiry. This is so we can contact you to inform you of the progress of the enquiry. In rare cases we may accept anonymous enquiries.

We have developed a Planning Enforcement Charter that explains how the enforcement process works, the role of the council and the service standards it sets itself. It also explains what happens at each stage of what can be a lengthy process.