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Planning enforcement

We recognise the importance of establishing effective controls over unauthorised development to assist in the preservation and enhancement of the qualities of both the built and natural environment and to protect public amenity.

Each case is unique and will be considered on its own facts and merits. In arriving at a decision to recommend formal enforcement action officers will be fair, independent and objective.

We will act in a way this is:

  • open about how we carry out our work
  • helpful in providing advice
  • proportional in relation to the scale and impact of the breach
  • consistent in carrying out our duties in a fair and consistent manner, in line with policies set out in the development plan

Find out more about enforcement action using the links below:

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How we can help

The types of enquiries which can be dealt with by include building works or changes of use, advertisements, non-compliance with conditions imposed on planning approvals, the felling of protected trees and the removal of hedgerows, works to listed buildings and demolition in conservation areas.

If we receive enquiries we can't help with, we'll provide advice on which other agencies may be able to provide assistance.

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What to expect if you make an enquiry about an unauthorised development

If you enquire about development which may not have planning permission your details will be kept confidential. Your enquiry will be acknowledged and you will be given advice about the enforcement process and what action can be taken. You will be advised of progress on the matter.

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What to expect if you carry out development without planning permission

Our staff will ensure that you understand what you are required to do and why and explain the enforcement process.

Officers will try to negotiate to resolve the problem. The majority of the enforcement investigations are resolved without the need for formal enforcement action.

You will be encouraged to discuss the matter with officers and given advice on whether planning permission is likely to be granted for the development.

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What to expect if formal enforcement action is taken

Depending upon the circumstances formal action may sometimes be necessary. Where it is necessary to take enforcement action the owner, occupier or developer will be advised in writing on the course of action to be pursued, setting out the type of action to be taken. The advice will include what rights of appeal are applicable and the penalties for non- compliance.

Where it is necessary to serve formal enforcement notices, the content of the notice will clearly state what is required and why action is being taken. Information will also be given on how to make an appeal against the issuing of the notice.

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When do we prosecute?

Failure to comply with any requirement of a statutory notice is a criminal offence. We will always consider whether legal proceedings should be instigated in these circumstances. The circumstances that warrant prosecution will normally be characterised by one of the following:

  • a flagrant breach of the law which has destroyed the fabric of a historic building or involved the removal of a protected tree.
  • a flagrant breach of law which is continuing to affect public amenity or the environment, for example where advertisements are displayed without advertisement consent, particularly in relation to where these are attached to listed buildings or in conservation areas.
  • failure to comply with enforcement notices and the offender has been given a reasonable opportunity to comply with its requirements.
  • where there is a history of similar offences related to the risk to the protection of the environment.
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Download our enforcement policy and leaflets

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Any questions?

If you have any questions, please contact our enforcement team on 01543 308205, 01543 308274 or 01543 308178 or email or write to:

Development Services,
Lichfield District Council,
District Council House,
Frog Lane,
WS13 6YZ

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Get in touch or visit...

Our location and travel details >>

Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

If you need to contact a team direct, please visit our contacts page for team phone numbers and email addresses.

Opening times

Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm. Our phone lines close at 5pm.