4. How to report a potential breach

4. HOW TO REPORT A POTENTIAL BREACH

4.1     Anyone who believes that a breach of planning control has occurred can make a complaint. Our best source of information about suspected breaches of planning control is often from members of the public. The information you provide may be crucial to our investigation of alleged breaches.

4.2     You can report a potential breach of planning control by:

  • Completing the online form 'Report Planning Control Breach Online' (note you can attach photographs or documents to the form),
  • by printing off the pdf version of the complaints form, completing it, and posting it together with any photos, to the following address:

                    Planning Enforcement Team

                    Chiltern District Council

                    King George V House

                    King George V Road

                    Amersham

                    Bucks HP6 5AW

  • Writing to us, including any photographs and documents at the above address
  • email: planning.enforcement@chilternandsouthbucks.gov.uk
  • In person at our offices where you will need to complete a form or where our staff will take down your details.
  • Or in exceptional circumstances such as in urgent cases where works are being undertaken to alter a listed building, TPO trees or due to the personal circumstances of the person concerned we will accept telephone complaints, contact us on:
  •  
    • Matters relating to Trees or Listed Buildings 01494 732031
    • Other matters 01494 732950

4.3     You must include:

  • Full address or location of the site where the development / breach is taking place.
  • Nature of the alleged breach and the planning harm caused.
  • If relevant, give specific examples with dates and times to substantiate your complaint.
  • Name (if known) and status or the person(s) involved. e.g. owner / tenant / occupier / contractor / worker
  • Date when activities first began and if they are on going.
  • If the complaint relates to a change of use, state the previous use of the site.
  • Your full name, postal address and contact details, including telephone number MUST be included with your complaint and where possible an email address. Where an email address is provided we will generally use this to keep you informed of progress. The Council DOES NOT investigate anonymous complaints.

4.4     The Council will seek to maintain the confidentiality of complainants at all times, we will not to reveal the identity of the requester, or information which is likely to reveal the identity of a requester, to an alleged offender. We may be asked to reveal the identity of a requester under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. However, any decision we make to reveal this information would need to show that there is a public interest in doing so.

4.5     The substance of the complaints themselves is not confidential. In some cases it may be necessary to rely on evidence from complainants in order to take action and you will need to consider whether you are willing to actively assist the Council by collecting evidence and potentially acting as a witness at an appeal or in Court. The Council's Planning Enforcement Officer will explain what may be required in these cases. Once a breach of control has been confirmed, you may be asked to make a note of your observations and keep a log of any relevant activities. It is particularly useful to note times, dates, names, addresses, telephone numbers and registration details of any vehicles involved.

4.6     If you also raise your concerns with your local District Councillor or your Town or Parish Council please advise them of any contact you may have had with the Enforcement Section and give them the name of the Officer who is dealing with your complaint.

4.7     If you also raise your concerns with your local District Councillor or your Town or Parish Council BEFORE you have contacted the Planning Enforcement Section please make that clear to them. The Town and Parish Councils are not the responsible authority for taking planning enforcement action, the responsibility lies with the District Council. Your local District Councillor or Town or Parish Councillor may be willing to pass on your concerns but you must agree this with them as there is no requirement for them to do so.

4.8     If a complaint is received from a District Councillor or Town or Parish Council we will respond to them. If they provide us with your contact details we will update you too. Ultimately it will be your responsibility to ensure that your concerns are made known to the Planning Enforcement Team at Chiltern District Council. The priority we give to an investigation does not change because we receive it from a District Councillor or a Town/Parish Council.