Local planning enforcement plan


At all times, our staff will follow the principles set out below and will:

  • act professionally courteously and equitably
  • endeavour to negotiate a solution to the problem where possible
  • use plain language
  • put advice following an investigation clearly and simply in writing. All letters/electronic mail and notices to unauthorised developers will explain the breach, the requirements of the authority to put the matter right including timescales and remind the developer of the powers of the authority has to take formal action. Letters will also give contact names and telephone numbers to ensure developers are given as much information as is possible to help and advice
  • keep all personal details confidential unless court action or the Freedom of Information legislation makes it necessary to release information
  • discourage retrospective planning applications when there is no prospect of an approval
  • clearly explain the rights of appeal against any formal notice to the person or company being investigated
  • offer an opportunity to comply with planning control or apply for retrospective consent in line with government best practice before any formal action enforcement action is undertaken, except in exceptional circumstances. Such circumstance may involve cases where the LPA can foresee no reasonable prospect of the development being retrospectively approved either with or without conditions or the use of a Section 106 legal agreement to control the use of the site
  • only take formal enforcement action where there is a breach of planning control, and where the action is proportionate and an environmental benefit is likely to result.

To initiate a planning enforcement investigation, complaints should be made in writing by letter, email or on our website.

  • Postal address: Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Castle House, Barracks Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 1BL

For each case submitted, a case officer will be assigned to deal with the assessment. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the case may be escalated or closed depending on the findings. You will be notified of the name of the officer dealing with the case and during the key stages in the investigation and assessment.

We will not tolerate any physical or verbal abuse towards our planning enforcement officers either on site during an inspection, during face to face meetings, via correspondence or online.

Where necessary we will use legal action to prevent abuse, harassment or assaults on our officers.

Concluding a case

A case will be considered resolved when:

  • a decision is made that it is not expedient to pursue enforcement action
  • the matter is being regularised through the application process. Further investigation may be necessary on refusal of permission and development remains in breach
  • the breach of development control has ceased
  • planning permission has been granted or is being considered
  • a formal notice is served and is in effect