Planning enforcement

Planning enforcement

Planning enforcement's main role is to ensure that development takes place in accordance with planning permission when granted. Where a development has been carried out without the necessary permission and the enforcement team investigate, negotiate the breach of planning control and enforce where expedient.

Report a planning contravention

You should tell us if:

  • you think someone has breached planning regulations
  • development has not been done in accordance with planning permission
  • a protected tree on private land is being damaged, cut down, or worked on illegally

Check if the building work needs permission before you report it to us. 

You should also read about planning enforcement.

If your report is to do with tree works, you should read about privately owned trees and preservation in Poole.


The Planning Enforcement Plan

The planning enforcement team work to the Planning Enforcement Plan.

The Enforcement Register

Each local planning authority is required to maintain an up to date Enforcement Register. Section 188 of the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) requires the register to contain information on enforcement notices (EN), stop notices (SN) and breach of condition notices (BCN). BCP Council, although not required to do so, will also include such other notices as request for information (RFI), planning contravention notices (PCN), tree replacement notices (TRN) and Section 21.5 notices (S.215). The register can be viewed by visiting the council offices.

Types of notice issued

  • Enforcement notice: this is used in cases involving building works and changes of use undertaken without planning permission where there is demonstrable harm and expedient to do so. It requires everyone who has an interest in the land to comply with certain requests to correct the alleged breach. There is the right of appeal. Failure to comply with the notice may result in legal proceedings
  • Stop notice: used in circumstances where the continuation of an unauthorised development or change of use is significantly harmful, likely to/has already caused damage/destruction to protected trees. It maybe that a blatant breach of planning control is continuing when negotiations have broken down with the local planning authority
  • Planning contravention notice: this is issued to request information relating to an alleged breach. There is a legal obligation to respond to the notice. Failure to respond may result in prosecution and a fine
  • Request for information notice: this is used to obtain details of the land owner/tenant when the information is not available. Failure to return the proforma may result in legal proceedings
  • Breach of condition notice: this can be served upon any person believed to have breached a condition placed on a grant of planning permission. There is no right of appeal
  • Section 215 notice: this can be used to require improvements to the appearance of land when it is considered detrimental to the amenity of an area. Such a notice maybe appropriate where the front garden of a property is being used for the storage of vehicles/miscellaneous items, which maybe viewed from the road or any public space. There is the right of appeal
  • Tree replacement notice: this is issued to require the replacement of trees, which have been removed or destroyed in contravention of a tree preservation order. There is the right of appeal
Page last updated: 08 July 2020
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