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Planning enforcement investigates possible breaches of tree, planning and listed building control.

Having to investigate alleged unauthorised works to buildings, structures or trees is unfortunately a problem faced by the District Council. Unauthorised works under the planning legislation are unlawful, unauthorised works under conservation and listed building legislation are illegal.   As part of the enforcement process, in certain circumstances the District Council can allow a person responsible for the breach to address the situation.  For example, this may mean:

  1. Reinstating removed fabric or reversing unauthorised alterations
  2. Submitting a retrospective application in an attempt to regularise the unauthorised works;
  3. Removing an unauthorised structure;
  4. Stopping any unauthorised use.

If an application is submitted to the District Council in order to regularise unauthorised work and permission is not granted, then formal enforcement action will be taken to remedy the situation.  The Council can also issue an enforcement notice without an application being submitted.  Where necessary the District Council will issue a stop notice to prevent further work taking place (where planning permission is required) and in extreme circumstances the Council has the power to apply for an injunction where works relate to a listed building although other options will also be considered.

If a retrospective planning application is refused and/or an enforcement notice issued, the applicant can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.  It can take a significant amount of time to secure a decision from the Planning Inspectorate.  Depending on the decision made, the Dorset Council will consider whether further action is necessary. 

Please ensure you read the Milton Abbas Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Guidelines document before carrying out any work, both internal and external including garden work, and contact the Planning Department, Dorset Council with any queries or to gain planning permission.