Cornwall Council Planning Enforcement Plan


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Introduction and overview

Cornwall Council’s Planning Enforcement Plan sets out our procedures for dealing with alleged breaches of planning control. It explains how the Council best uses its planning enforcement resources. This includes dealing with breaches of planning control that may cause harm to:

  • the local built environment
  • the natural environment or 
  • the amenities of neighbours.

Planning enforcement action is discretionary. Government guidance says Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) must only take planning enforcement action when they regard it expedient to do so. Action must be proportionate to the breach of planning control to which it relates.

This Enforcement Plan sets out how the Council can and will respond to breaches of planning control. We will follow Government advice and try to resolve issues by negotiation. This is very often the quickest and most effective way to resolve problems. It is also the best way to use resources - taking formal action can be a lengthy and costly process. However, where negotiation fails and there is a development that results in planning harm, the Council will take formal action. But where there is a breach of planning control causing significant and irreversible planning harm, the Council may take enforcement action without any negotiation.

We will focus on the desired outcome when finding the best way forward. We will consider whether planning enforcement is the most effective route to achieve the outcome. Different legislation may be more appropriate.

This plan sets out the Council’s specific approach to dealing with planning enforcement matters. It includes our approach to working with other Council teams or external agencies where necessary.

You can find our information on how we approach planning enforcement in the pages below:


What is planning enforcement includes:

  • Is planning enforcement the right tool to use?
  • What is planning enforcement
  • What is or is not a breach of planning control

How we deal with reported planning enforcement issues includes:

  • The principles of good planning enforcement
  • How can a planning enforcement issue be reported
  • How will the Council deal with a report of an alleged breach of planning control

What can happen in a planning enforcement investigation includes:

  • What if a report is made about work on my property
  • What are the possible outcomes of an investigation

How we use planning enforcement tools includes:

  • What planning enforcement tools are available and when the Council uses them

How we manage complaints and other services includes:

  • Chargeable discretionary services
  • Advertisement enforcement
  • What if I am dissatisfied with the way the case was managed
  • Unreasonable customer behaviour

Planning enforcement legislation and policies includes:

  • Government legislation
  • Cornwall Council policies.

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