Rossendale Borough Council

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Planning enforcement


Planning enforcement deals with any alleged breach of planning control reported by members of the public, Councillors or other departments within the Council.  Additionally, we also monitor conditions imposed on planning permissions wherever possible to ensure that development is being undertaken in accordance with the planning approval.

Planning enforcement action can only be considered where the development (be it building work or material change of use) being undertaken requires planning permission.  An initial investigation by the enforcement officer, upon receipt of a complaint, will seek to determine the planning status of a development.

There are certain types of building works or changes of use which do not require planning permission and are defined as ‘permitted development’ within the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995.  Further information on what constitutes ‘permitted development’ can be found on the website

Situations that can be considered for planning enforcement include:

  • Unauthorised building worksUnauthorised material changes of use to a building or land
  • Unauthorised display of advertisements
  • Unauthorised works to protected trees
  • Unauthorised work to statutorily listed buildings
  • Unauthorised demolition of certain buildings within a Conservation Area
  • Unauthorised engineering operations
  • Works not being carried out in accordance with plans approved as part of a planning permission, or in breach of a condition of a planning permission

Anyone who believes that a breach of planning control has occurred can make a complaint and if you are concerned about unauthorised building work or a change of use you should contact the Planning Enforcement section of the Licensing and Enforcement Unit. In order to be investigated, complaints must be made in writing.

A complaint can be registered using our online form, by email to or in writing to:

Planning Enforcement
Planning & Enforcement Unit
Rossendale Borough Council
The Business Centre (Room 118)
Futures Park
OL13 0BB

In order to be investigated, a complaint must include the following information:

  • Complainant’s address and contact details
  • Description of what has taken place
  • The address details of where the alleged breach has occurred
  • If possible a plan indicating the exact area the works are occurring and photographic evidence

In cases of extreme urgency such as the unauthorised felling of protected trees or unauthorised demolition of a listed building please telephone the Licensing and Enforcement Unit on 01706 238643.

The Council’s Planning Enforcement Policy contains details of how planning enforcement complaints are dealt with, and what powers are available to the Council to rectify any breaches of planning control.