This Fact sheet is about complaints about Planning Enforcement. It should be read together with our ‘How to Complain‘ webpage, available on the ‘Making A Complaint’ tab.
The Council is the local planning authority for its area (in some areas this is a function of a National Park Authority). Planning authorities are responsible for making decisions and taking action about various planning matters. They have to work within the law, government guidance and the authority’s own policy. The Ombudsman may be able to help you with your complaint against a planning authority.
Quite a lot of development can take place without planning permission so a council may not be required to take action.
A council can choose not to take enforcement action if it thinks that is the right thing to do.
Government guidance encourages councils to try informal methods of dealing with planning problems. Formal enforcement would normally be a last resort.
Government guidance encourages councils to consider the possibility of asking developers to submit retrospective applications to deal with breaches of planning permissions.
A council may have a written enforcement policy which it should make available to you or is on its website.
Planning Aid Wales can give helpful information on planning matters. You can contact them by phone on 029 2062 5000 or via the internet at www.planningaidwales.org.uk
Planning information can also be obtained at https://www.planningportal.co.uk/wales_en/
The Council’s own website may also contain information about some planning matters.
The Ombudsman is independent and impartial; he cannot order public bodies to do what he recommends – but, in practice, they almost always do. Examples of cases that the Ombudsman has looked at can be found on our website, under the ‘Publications’ tab on the ‘Our Findings’ & ‘The Ombudsman’s Casebook’ pages.