​​​Our Planning Enforcement team investigate when planning rules are suspected of being broken. They can issue enforcement notices​ that can lead to prosecution.​

Planning breaches

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

Breaches include:

  • 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.

Contact us

Planning Enforcement
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
London Road
Morden
SM4 5DX

Tel: 020 8545 3111
Email: planning.enf@merton.gov.uk