Rossendale Borough Council

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Planning enforcement


What is Planning Enforcement?

Planning enforcement is a Council service that deals with any alleged breach of planning control.  We also monitor conditions imposed on planning permissions wherever possible to ensure that development is being undertaken in accordance with the planning permission.  In addition, we investigate complaints relating to untidy land and buildings. 

Rossendale Borough Council has an adopted Enforcement Plan, which provides guidance on its planning enforcement procedures.

What we can take action against

A breach of planning control is defined in section 171A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as:

  • Carrying out development without the required planning permission; or
  • Failure to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted.

Any contravention of the limitations on, or conditions belonging to, permitted development rights, under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended), also constitutes a breach of planning control against which enforcement action may be taken.

The Council’s Planning Enforcement Team also deals with certain other issues, such as:

  • Unauthorised display of advertisements
  • Unauthorised works to protected trees
  • Unauthorised work to statutorily listed buildings
  • Untidy land and buildings

What we cannot take action against

Certain works may not require permission, either because they do not constitute development (as expressed within Section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) or they may be defined as ‘permitted development’ within the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015. Further information on these matters can be found on the following website:

The Council can only enforce planning legislation, and therefore cannot get involved in private disputes, for example breaches of restrictive deeds or covenants, boundary disputes or rights of access. Individuals with such concerns should contact a private solicitor who may be able to pursue civil action. 

How to make an enforcement complaint

If you wish to report a suspected breach of planning control (or untidy land/building), please use the procedure outlined below.

Complaints can only be made by fully completing the Planning Enforcement Complaint Form. You can access and submit the form in a number of ways, including:

  • By completing the online form - this is the quickest and easiest way of making a complaint, as you can complete and submit the form directly to us online.
  • By downloading the Planning Enforcement Complaint Form and emailing your completed form to
  • By downloading the Planning Enforcement Complaint Form and posting your completed form to the following address:

    Planning Department
    Rossendale Borough Council
    Futures Park
    OL13 0BB
  • By collecting the Planning Enforcement Complaint Form from the Council's Duty Planning Officer in the One Stop Shop at the above address (available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 09.00 - 12.00).  Completed forms can be returned to the same address. 
  • By contacting the Duty Planning Officer on 01706 252580 during the above hours and requesting the form be posted out to you.

All complaints must be made by submitting a fully completed form.  However, in cases of extreme urgency (e.g. demolition of a Listed Building or the felling of trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order) you may also wish to inform us immediately by telephone so that we can act more promptly.  In such cases please telephone the Planning Manager on 01706 252420.  A complaint form will still need to be completed.