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Planning enforcement

Making a complaint

Before making a complaint, you may be able to discuss your concerns directly with the owner of the property or land in question.  If this is not possible, then we may be able to investigate your complaint.  However, please be aware that we cannot investigate matters that lie outside the scope of planning control, such as boundary disputes, land ownership queries and obstruction of a right of way.  You should also note that some works do not require planning consent.  If you are unsure if planning permission has been granted for a development, you can search all planning applications and decisions.

When making a complaint, you should include:

  • Your name and address
  • The address of the property or land where the alleged breach of planning control has occurred
  • The nature of your complaint (eg change of use of land or buildings, erection of buildings or extensions, works to trees or hedgerows, untidy land etc)
  • The reason for your complaint (please describe the impact or harm that the alleged breach of planning control is having - eg increased noise, increased traffic, looks unsightly etc)

The above information is essential for us to investigate your complaint. Due to the large number of complaints we receive, a priority system is used and complaints with the greatest impact will normally be investigated first. We understand that complainants may wish to remain anonymous, but in order for us to assess the impact of an alleged planning breach this information is important.

To make a complaint please complete our enforcement report form. Alternatively you can email the details (as required above) to dm@lancaster.gov.uk

Planning enforcement charter

Our Planning Enforcement Charter (DOCX, 609KB) provides information regarding the role of enforcement within the planning system, alongside general advice regarding unauthorised development, the issue of expediency and the penalties for failing to comply with any formal notices issued by us. It also contains an order of priority, which explains the type of complaints that we will prioritise.

The procedure for making a complaint about a possible breach of planning control is contained within the charter. Complainants will be asked to provide specific details regarding the location, nature and reason for making their complaint, so you are advised to consult the charter before contacting us.

Similarly the charter contains information for those that have been the subject of a complaint, or may have breached planning control. It is important to note that planning officers will remain impartial at all times and will act in the wider public interest within the legislative boundaries of planning control.

Planning enforcement register

In accordance with the requirements of Section 188 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, we maintain a register of the enforcement notices, breach of conditions notices, stop notices and enforcement orders that we have served since 1996. The list is updated on a quarterly basis. We will not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided.

Last updated: 14 November 2017