Due to the Coronavirus, enforcement site visits by officers are extremely restricted. If you wish to report a planning breach please include as much detail and photographs if possible. We cannot guarantee a site investigation at this time but officers are still reviewing cases to the best of their ability based on the evidence before them.
Our Planning Enforcement team investigate when planning rules are suspected of being broken. They can issue
enforcement notices that can lead to prosecution.
A planning breach (breaking the planning rules) occurs when:
- a development is started without permission being given - either because the planning application was refused or was never applied for
- a development that has been given permission subject to conditions breaches one or more of those conditions
Examples of planning control breaches
- building work, engineering operations, and material changes of use which are carried out without planning permission
- non-compliance with conditions attached to planning consents
- developments not carried out in accordance with approved plans
- failure to comply with a legal agreement attached to a permission or consent.
- unauthorised demolition within a conservation area
- failure to comply with the requirements of a planning legal notice
Breaches of planning control are generally not criminal offences, with the exception of:
- unauthorised works carried out to a listed building
- displaying unauthorised advertisements
- carrying out unauthorised works to protected trees
What isn't a breach of planning control
The following examples are not normally breaches of planning control and it is unlikely that enforcement action will be taken under planning legislation:
- street parking of commercial vehicles in residential areas
- sale of vehicles from the highway is dealt with by the District Officers
- operating a business from home, provided there is no material change of use
- clearing land of undergrowth, bushes and trees provided they are not subject to a Tree Preservation Order and are not within a Conservation Area or protected by a planning condition.
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
Tel: 020 8545 3111