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Involve the local councillors

Councillors are in a position to encourage the council to take enforcement action as a priority.


In case you later need to take your case to the Local Government Ombudsman, you should keep a record of any information you give to councillors and officers.

Councils aren't actually required by law to enforce planning controls.

So if you want them to do something about a breach, you need to help them understand why it's such a problem.

Strong arguments would be that the breach, for example:

  • harms many people's enjoyment of an area
  • harms the characteristics of a place that should be protected in the wider public interest, such as a footpath.
  • could potentially bring the planning system and local council into disrepute.

Councillors are more likely to pay attention when many people point out a problem, so try to gather public support for your cause.

You could ask people to sign a petition or write to the local paper about the problem, asking it to publicise it.