Development Monitoring and
Northumberland County Council is
responsible for monitoring the planning permissions it has granted
and for investigating any complaints about these developments.
The Council is also responsible for
investigating any alleged breaches of planning control,
unauthorised development and, if necessary, enforcing against
any breaches of planning control.
There is a separate regime for
monitoring minerals and waste developments. Further information on
the monitoring of minerals and
waste developments can be viewed by clicking here.
A basic guide to the planning
enforcement strategy of Northumberland County Council, including
contact information can be viewed by clicking here.
Monitoring aims to ensure
that developments have the necessary planning permission and are
being carried out in accordance with the conditions attached to the
Where a breach of planning
permission has occurred, Council officers will seek to rectify this
through negotiation. If negotiation fails, then formal enforcement
action will be considered.
Where negotiation fails
to resolve a breach of planning control or a retrospective
application is refused, the Council will consider whether to take
formal enforcement action.
The Council can serve
legal notices to stop breaches of planning control, require
unauthorised breaches of planning control to cease and require the
removal of structures or buildings that do not have planning
The enforcement powers
available to the Council include:
- Planning Contravention notice
- Breach of Condition Notice
- Enforcement Notice
- Stop Notice
- Direct Action
More information on the
enforcement action that can be taken by the Council can be found in
the Council’s monitoring and enforcement strategy. This Strategy
can be accessed by clicking on the
following link: Strategy
for the Monitoring and Enforcement of Planning Control
Government guidance in
relation to the enforcement of planning control is contained in
'Planning Policy Guidance Note 18: Enforcing Planning Control'
and 'Circular 10/97: Enforcing planning control: legislative
provisions and procedural requirements', which can be accessed on
the website of the Department of Communities and Local
What is a breach of planning
A breach of planning
control usually occurs when:
- A development that requires planning permission is undertaken
without permission being granted because either planning permission
was not applied for or because the planning application was
- Conditions attached to a planning permission have not been
A planning breach in
itself is not illegal and the Council will often permit a
retrospective application where planning permission has not been
sought if it is deemed to be acceptable.
If the breach involves a previously
rejected development, or a retrospective planning application is
not successful, the Council can take enforcement action. It is
illegal to disobey an enforcement notice unless it is successfully
breaches of planning control also include:
- Unauthorised development to Listed Buildings;
- Unauthorised development in Conservation Areas;
- Unauthorised use of land or premises;
- Development not in accordance with the approved plans;
- The felling or pruning of a tree protected by a ‘tree
preservation order’ (TPO);
- Advertising without consent;
- Unsightly land or buildings that affect the amenity of the
Reporting a planning breach
If you feel there has been a breach
of planning control or have concerns about a development that is
taking place you can report this to the Council.
You can contact the Council by
telephone, letter, email (contact details are shown at the top
right of the page).
When making a complaint,
as much information as possible should be provided to help the
Council investigate it. This information should include:
- name, address and contact telephone number of complainant
- a description of what the alleged breach is;
- the address/location where the alleged breach has taken
- the date and time of the alleged breach; and
- the name of the person(s)/company responsible for the alleged
breach (where known).
Details of the
complainant will be kept confidential unless the complainant agrees
to their details being released.
All complaints will be recorded and
investigated by the Council. Complaints shall normally be
acknowledged within 5 working days of receipt and depending upon
the level of priority assigned to the case an initial site visit
should be undertaken in 1 to 15 working days.
More information on the Council’s
procedures for dealing with breaches of planning are set out in the
monitoring and enforcement strategy. This can be accessed by
Anyone with an interest in the land (which normally means the
owner, tenant or leaseholder) can appeal against an enforcement
notice that has been served by the Council.
More information on
enforcement appeals and how to make an appeal against an
enforcement notice is available from the planning appeals webpage, which can be accessed
by clicking here.