We investigate complaints about breaches of planning control in East Hampshire.

This includes:

  • unauthorised building works and uses of land or buildings
  • development of sites
  • works to trees and listed buildings
  • advertisements
  • untidy land
  • high hedges

We will not investigate anonymous complaints.

The details of a complaint will become public, but the identity of a complainant or informant is always treated as confidential.

If you have an enquiry or complaint that you would like to report to the planning compliance team; please complete the planning and enforcement enquiry form.

Planning enforcement enquiry and complaint form

Planning enforcement plan

The planning enforcement plan has been drafted to ensure a clear framework and a consistent approach to dealing with all planning enforcement cases across the borough. 

What is a breach of planning control?

A breach of planning control is defined in section 171A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as carrying out a development without the required planning permission or failing to comply with any condition or limitation to which planning permission has been granted.

Any contravention of the limitations on, or conditions belonging to, permitted development rights, under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, constitutes a breach of planning control against which enforcement action may be taken.

Breaches usually take one of the following forms:

  • a building is erected, extended or altered without planning permission
  • work is carried out which does not comply with approved plans
  • a condition imposed on a planning permission is not complied with
  • an unauthorised change of use of a building or land.

What we do

Enforcement action is not mandatory and a breach of planning control is not a criminal offence. The exception to this is if unlawful works take place to listed buildings, protected trees and display of advertisements that need consent from the council.

Every effort is made to resolve matters with the co-operation of the developer or landowner but enforcement action can be a lengthy process, particularly when dealing with an uncooperative owner or developer and where the council has to resort to serving regulatory notices.

In many such cases there is the right of appeal which can add up to 12 months to the time taken to resolve matters.

Retrospective applications

Where development has taken place without permission, a retrospective application should be submitted.

When development has taken place and has become immune from enforcement action due to the length of time it has been on the site, a lawful development certificate should be applied for.

In some cases when a planning breach has been fully investigated, a decision may be taken not to pursue action because the development is acceptable or has become immune from action.

A formal determination can be provided if appropriate information and evidence is available but this determination does not make the development lawful.