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Planning enforcement

Report a potential breach of County Council Minerals and Waste planning permission, planning conditions or unauthorised development using our online form or call 01296 395000

Report breaches

Visit BucksPlanning to view current cases and planning decisions.

For enforcement queries on housing, commercial premises or other developments visit your district council's website.

Our responsibilities

We investigate reported breaches of minerals and waste planning control, identify breaches and take appropriate action to ensure development control decisions are adhered to and any harm minimised. We can only take action when the reported activity would be unlikely to be granted planning permission. 

The Environment Agency is responsible for managing pollution risks from unauthorised waste tipping.

Unauthorised developments

This can include unauthorised:

  • tipping of waste on land
  • extraction of minerals
  • storage and sorting of waste, eg skips loaded with waste, running a waste transfer facility

Breaches of planning conditions

This can include:

  • sites operating outside of permitted times
  • lorries depositing mud on roads when they leave a site
  • tipping of waste above approved levels
  • sites not being properly restored

What action can we take?

We will usually try to resolve a planning problem through voluntary agreement. If negotiation fails to resolve the problem we have powers to take these actions:

Planning contravention notice

Served on landowners/operators to obtain information about a suspected breach of planning control. The information is used to decide whether further action is required. Failure to reply to the notice is a criminal offence and can lead to a fine of up to £1,000.

Breach of condition notice

Requires an operator/landowner to comply with planning permission conditions which they have breached. There is no right of appeal and failure to comply could result in prosecution and a £1,000 fine for each offence.

Enforcement notice

Used when a serious breach of planning control has occurred. The person served with the notice has 30 days to appeal against the notice. An appeal is heard by an independent Inspector. If the appeal is dismissed or no appeal is made then failure to comply with the requirements of the notice is a criminal offence and could lead to prosecution and a maximum fine of £20,000.

Stop notice

This is issued alongside an enforcement notice and requires a particularly harmful activity eg waste disposal, to stop. Non compliance with a stop notice is an offence which carries a maximum fine of £20,000.


This is sought in the County or High Court to restrain people from carrying out or continuing to breach planning controls. The contravention of an Injunction Order is a Contempt of Court and the Court can levy an unlimited fine or impose a custodial sentence.

Direct action

As a last resort if a person continues to or cannot comply with the notice we can enter the land and undertake works in compliance with a notice. The cost will be charged to the landowner, but may be borne by the Council in the short term.

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