Before you contact us
Certain developments do not require planning permission if they are permitted under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015, commonly referred to as 'Permitted Development'. Below are links to some of the most frequently enquired about developments;
For further information please visit the Planning Portal.
What we can investigate
Our Planning Enforcement team can investigate:
- Abandoned vehicles
- Adverts, signs and fly-posting
- New buildings, extensions or uses that are not classified as Permitted Development
- Someone setting up camp on your land
- Untidy land/buildings
Please note we cannot investigate boundary/ownership disputes, Party Wall Act issues, trespass or enforcing covenants.
Reporting a breach of planning control
If you wish to report an issue for our team to investigate, please complete the Planning Enforcement Complaint Form.
Please ensure that all parts of the form are completed in full before submitting along with any photographs of the alleged breach of planning control.
The form and photographs can be submitted via email, post or hand delivered to the Council Offices using the contact details below.
Postal address: South Staffordshire Council, Wolverhampton Road, Codsall, Wolverhampton, WV8 1PX
What happens after reporting the breach?
Once a case has been registered and allocated to an Officer, you will receive a case reference number. All investigations for this case will take place under the reference number provided.
The Officer will then commence their inquiries gathering the relevant information to aid their investigation, this may include a site visit to the location in question. The Officer will begin negotiations with the relevant parties in connection with the alleged breach of planning control; if a breach is identified the Officer will work towards remedying the breach.
How long will the investigation take?
Investigations can take anything from a few days to several months if we need to monitor or carry out in-depth research. Once we have visited the site we will:
- Inform you of our initial findings
- Advise you what actions are required
- Set a timescale in which to carry out any requirements
- Keep you informed at key stages
If there is no breach of planning control, we will inform you and close the case.
The Council don't take formal action lightly and we try to resolve any issues through negotiation. However, if negotiations fail the Council will consider taking formal action to remedy the breach of planning control. There are a number of different legal notices which can be served and in most cases there is a right of appeal, which is dealt by the Planning Inspectorate.
When an appeal is logged, the notice will not come into force until a formal appeal decision is reached by the Planning Inspectorate. However, in some circumstances, the Council can follow an enforcement notice with a stop or temporary stop notice, which requires that the building work or use is stopped with immediate effect.
If legal notices are not complied with we can take legal action which could result in a significant fine.
Are your details kept confidential?
Under the Data Protection Act the name and address of a person making a complaint or any other contact details, will not be disclosed.
If you have been asked to collect evidence to support your complaint, the Council may wish to use this to demonstrate that there has been a breach of planning control. Such evidence carries more weight if presented by the person who collected it and you may be asked if you are prepared to contribute to an appeal, but you are in no way obliged to do so. Most complaints are resolved without the need for formal action, so in most cases giving evidence will not be necessary.
Formal notices that are served on all interested parties in breach of planning regulations are public documents.
We do not investigate anonymous complaints, particularly if the issues complained about are unclear.
How can you find out more?
The Council's enforcement policy provides guidance to officers, businesses and the general public on the range of options that are available to achieve compliance with legislation. The Council's planning enforcement policy and procedures documents sets out what individuals and organisations can expect from the Council, in the undertaking of its planning enforcement functions.