Planning breaches & enforcement

The Planning Enforcement section investigate situations where it is suspected that there is a breach of planning control or unauthorised development.

What is a breach of planning control?

Examples include:

  • Where land or buildings are developed, including a change of use,  without the planning permission needed
  • Where planning permission has been granted but the development does not comply with that permission.  That may because the development does not comply with the plans, or because the developer has not complied with conditions or legal agreements relating to the permission
  • Where works are carried out to a listed building without listed building consent.  This includes internal works as well as external works
  • Where a building is demolished in a conservation area without consent
  • Where signs or advertisements requiring advertisement consent are displayed without that consent

Most breaches of planning control are not criminal offences however in the following cases criminal offences may be committed:-

  • Carrying out unauthorized works to a listed building
  • Displaying certain advertisements without consent

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)

A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is placed on trees thought to provide considerable amenity value to the community and contribute visually to the street scene or the local character. 

A TPO is not just to retain a tree but to retain the amenity value that it provides from its presence. 

If you suspect that unauthorised works are being carried out on a tree(s) covered by a Tree Protection Order or within a conservation area without the necessary consent, you will need to contact us.

How do I report a suspected breach of planning control?

You can report a suspected breach of planning by completing this online form, by telephone or email.

To help us deal with your complaint you should provide us with as much information as possible including:

  • your name address and telephone number
  • the address of the site or location
  • the landowner or occupiers name and contact details where known
  • a description of the breach alleged
  • what harm the breach is causing
  • the date when you became aware of the breach

We will not normally investigate anonymous complaints unless it appears to us that a serious breach is occurring.  

Your personal details will be treated in confidence and will not be disclosed to third parties without your consent however your personal details may be disclosed to other officers within West Lindsey District Council where other departments may be more appropriate to deal with your concern. Where formal action is considered appropriate we may ask you to give evidence at an appeal or in court.

Register of enforcement and stop notices

We maintain a register of all enforcement notices, breach of condition notices, stop notices and temporary stop notices.

The register is open to public inspection at our offices: Guildhall, Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough, DN21 2NA 

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Wednesday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

To view the register, please email

Unless you are totally sure whether or not you require planning permission you should always check using our pre-development advice service.  This is a chargeable service but will ensure you receive all the advice you need before making a planning application.  This service is valuable as mistakes or oversights with applications can be very costly.  As well as providing advice and feedback from consultees, the pre-development service can include a face-to-face meeting if this would be of benefit.


West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall, Marshall's Yard
DN21 2NA