For some forms of development or building work it is a criminal offence to start work without the necessary consents. Failure to comply with planning permission or building regulation requirements can result in large fines or imprisonment. Herefordshire Council are responsible for: 

  • Making sure that developments are built in accordance with the planning approval granted
  • Dealing with any alleged breach of planning control reported to us by members of the public, councillors or any other department within the council

We employ enforcement officers in the development management section to investigate complaints of unauthorised development and non-compliance with conditions. The decision whether to take enforcement action and, if so, what action is best suited to a particular circumstance, is at our discretion. We consider each case on its merits and in most planning control cases, enforcement officers are able to discuss problems with developers and resolve them without recourse to formal action. The council always tries to negotiate before resorting to legal action, you can download our planning enforcement policy for more information.

The council's main enforcement powers are:

  • To issue an Enforcement Notice stating the required steps to remedy an alleged breach of planning control within a time limit
  • To serve a Breach of Condition Notice if there is a failure to comply with a condition
  • To serve a Stop Notice that can prohibit, almost immediately any activity to which an accompanying Enforcement Notice relates
  • To serve a Temporary Stop Notice, as above, which lasts for 28 days
  • To serve a Section 215 Notice, which requires land or buildings to be maintained with a tidy appearance
  • Apply to the High Court or County Court for an injunction to restrain an actual or apprehended breach of planning control
  • Following the landowner's default, to enter land and to carry out the remedial work required by an Enforcement Notice and to charge the owner for the costs incurred in doing so.

Not all works or new uses need planning permission, but failure to obtain planning permission or comply with the details of a permission is commonly known as a 'planning breach'. You can read more about permitted development and planning breaches on the Planning Portal.

If you believe a development or change of use has breached a planning control, you can report this to the Planning Enforcement team.

Report a breach of planning control