Planning enforcement

Slough's Planning Enforcement team is responsible for tackling alleged breaches of planning control. This includes building work that does not have the appropriate planning permission, changes of the use of sites without planning permission, the display of unauthorised advertisements and unapproved works to protected trees and listed buildings.

The team follow the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which sets out the government's national planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied, as well as Slough's Local Planning policies.

What is a breach of planning control?

A breach of planning control could be where somebody develops a site without the planning permission they need or where they are not meeting the terms or conditions of an approved planning permission. Breaches of control can include:
• Building or engineering works that take place without planning permission
• Change to the use of a site without planning permission
• Development that is not in accordance with the approved drawings on the planning permission
• Unauthorised works to a listed building
• Unauthorised advertisements
• Unauthorised works to a tree which is protected by a tree preservation order or is in a conservation area
• Unauthorised demolition of a building within a conservation area
• Land which has become so untidy that it harms the amenity of the surrounding area.

Breaches of planning control are not offences, with the exception of the following which are criminal offences:
• Unauthorised works to listed buildings
• Display of unauthorised advertisements
• Carrying out unauthorised works to protected trees

The enforcement team will investigate situations where they suspect there is a breach of planning control. 

What is not a breach of planning control?

The following examples are not normally considered breaches of planning control and it is likely that enforcement action will not be taken:
• Permitted development (development which has a blanket planning permission granted by the government). For more information about permitted development, please see the planning portal website.
• Advertisements displayed in accordance with the advertisement regulations. For more information about advertisement regulations, please see the planning portal website.
• Boundary disputes, neighbour disputes, landownership and party wall issues.
• Minor breaches. The council's formal enforcement powers will not be used against a trivial or technical breach of planning control, where there is limited hard to the public.
• Breaches of building regulations - if you wish to report a dangerous structure or unauthorised building work, our Building Control team can assist you.
• On street parking of commercial vehicles in residential areas.
• Operating a business from home on a low key basis. For more information about working from home, please see the planning portal website.
• Clearing land of undergrowth, bushes and trees so long as they aren't subject to a tree preservation order and are not within a conservation area, or protected by a planning condition.

Immunity from enforcement action

Immunity from enforcement action arises when the breach is for:
• Residential purposes and has been substantially completed for more than 4 years.
• Commercial purpose when the use has occurred for more than 10 years.

Reporting a possible breach of planning control

You can report a breach of planning control here:

How to report a breach of planning control.