3. What we do not investigate


3.1     The Planning Enforcement Team cannot investigate the following issues:

  • Boundary wall disputes or other land ownership disputes.

We do not keep records of land ownership and do not become involved in land ownership disputes. Landownership is a civil matter between neighbours and should be pursued through other means/legislation. The onus is on the applicant in submitting any planning application to ensure that anyone with an interest in the land is notified of the application.

  • Highway obstructions, parking and traffic.

Construction vehicles causing obstruction or parking on the roads, commercial vehicles parking in residential areas or on grass verges, or traffic obstructions, are matters for Buckinghamshire Council as the relevant highway authority, or potentially the Police. Whilst we can ensure that parking spaces are provided on site and kept available for use, we cannot require that they are used and can not become in issues involving vehicles on the highway.

  • Running a business from home where there is no impact upon the amenity of neighbouring residents.
    • A trades person who parks their work vehicle on their driveway at home or other business vehicles on the public highway would not require planning permission.
    • The use of one room in a house by the occupier to carry out a business with no employees or visitors to the property in relation to that business use would not require planning permission.

Other cases are investigated to assess, if as a matter of fact and degree planning permission would be required. For example, an occupier employing several staff, and receiving a number of customers in relation to that business use within a number of rooms in a house is likely to require planning permission.

  • Activities incidental to the residential use of a dwelling.

Hobbies or activities within the curtilage of a dwelling is likely to be incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling and therefore would not require planning permission. For example, a householder repairing their car on their property or would not require planning permission but a householder running a car repair business would require planning permission.

  • Stationing a caravan within the grounds of a dwelling
  • Clearing of un-protected trees or landscaping and gardening works
  • Out of hour's construction and related disturbances - the law relating to noise does not specify permitted hours of working for building operations. The Council's Environmental Health Team can be contacted at envhealth.csb@buckinghamshire.gov.uk
  • General pollution - smell and noise nuisances, bonfires. Such matters may be able to be investigated by the Council's Environmental Health Team. More advice about noise nuisance and details of which the Council can assist on can be found on the Council's web site and by contact envhealth.csb@buckinghamshire.gov.uk
  • Graffiti. The Council does not have a duty to take action in respect of such matters, however more information about who to contact is available on our web site
  • Dangerous structures or damage to property can be investigated by the Council's Building Control Team who can be contacted at buildingcontrol.csb@buckinghamshire.gov.uk. Damage to property is generally a civil matter between the relevant parties
  • Site security
  • Sewers, soakaways or other drainage matters (other than those relating to front garden paving)
  • Business competition
  • Breaches of covenants
  • Security lighting fixed to existing buildings

3.2     The matters referred to above are in general covered by other legislation; this may be civil legislation, environmental health regulations, building regulations or highway legislation. See contact details in section 10.