Carrying out building work without planning permission

The best thing to do before starting any building works is to get advice about planning permission and building regulations. 

For more information check:

Make sure you're clear about planning permission

Planning permission is needed, if you're a developer building new houses, shops, factories and similar buildings.

Planning permission may be needed:

  • if you're a home owner carrying out small works, such as building walls, extensions, garages, car ports or constructing hard standings

  • to change the use of land and buildings, for example, extending a garden into an adjoining field or changing a shop to a hot food take away.

Unauthorised building work/development

It's not an offence to carry out building work or development without planning permission, but if you do, we can take enforcement action, particularly if the appearance of the area, or the living conditions of local residents, is adversely affected.

Complaints about unauthorised work/development

If you're concerned about development that you think may be unauthorised, you can make a complaint by filling in our enquiry form and we'll reply directly to you.

Please read the guidance in our Planning Enforcement Policy first; it explains what we can and can't consider, as well as explaining how we'll deal with your enquiry.