If development has taken place where planning permission is required but not obtained then the development may become the subject of investigation and enforcement action by us. This can cause problems such as significantly holding up or even losing the sale or purchase of a property and can lead to a court summons if an enforcement notice is served and not complied with, even if it was not you who did the work.

If you have started work but you think the works need planning permission then you should:

  • Stop any building work immediately
  • Make yourself aware of the possible planning enforcement issues
  • Check if the development requires planning permission
  • Check if the development requires Building Regulations

Make the necessary retrospective applications for planning permission and/or building regulations if they are required (either a retrospective application for planning permission or an application for a Lawful Development Certificate for an Existing use or operation or activity including those in breach of a planning condition.) 

Applications

The application form is the same form as would be used for an ordinary application (ie whichever applies to the nature of the works) but the description proposal should include the fact that the application is made retrospectively  eg 'Single-storey extension to rear (retrospective)'.  For retrospective applications we will still need to be able to make a comparison between what was there before building work started and how the site is now. For this reason please provide the following plans:

  • 'as was' (the site as was prior to commencement of building works)
  • 'as is' (as the site is now)
  • if the application includes works that have not yet been undertaken but are being applied for plans 'as proposed' should also be submitted

If you are currently in the process of purchasing a property where development undertaken there may have required planning permission or Building Regulations consent we would advise you to:

  • Check the planning history of the property on Planning Online (permission may have already been sought)
  • Check with us whether permissions are required (the works may have been permissible under permitted development)
  • Any further action should be undertaken following the advice of a professional conveyancer. Most property purchases involve the undertaking of a Local Land Charges Search and this is the most thorough way of gaining information about the development history of an address.

If you concerned about a property where development undertaken there may have required planning permission or Building Regulations consent we would advise you to:

  • Check the planning history of the property on Planning Online (permission may have already been sought)
  • We will investigate all of the enquiries we receive about unauthorised development. However, if you believe that development requiring planning permission is being undertaken/has been undertaken then we would first advise you to search the planning history of an address on Planning Online before contacting Planning Investigation as, in some cases, planning permission may have been sought/be currently being sought from us for the development. Please also note that in some cases the development may fall within nationally defined permitted development rights and thus not require planning permission.