Report a breach of planning control


  1. Overview
  2. How long enforcement action takes
  3. Privacy Notice


The Council's planning enforcement team investigates alleged breaches of planning control.

You can report an alleged breach of planning control by contacting by telephone on 0191 424 7440 or by emailing us at

Please note that we will not normally deal with anonymous requests, but will keep your details confidential (unless we are legally required to provide them in response to a Police or Inland Revenue investigation, for example).

We will normally update you within 15 working days of receiving your request.

View the Planning and Building Control enforcement policy.

How long enforcement action takes

Dealing with enforcement cases can be a lengthy and complex process. This means that it is not possible to give a specific timescale for taking action, where this is considered necessary.

When the Council issues a formal planning enforcement notice, there is a right of appeal and this has the effect of suspending action until the appeal has been decided.

If someone does not comply with any of the requirements of a valid legal notice within the compliance period, it is a criminal offence and they can be prosecuted.

Despite the potentially lengthy processes involved, we aim to keep you informed of progress and let you know the outcome. You can of course, contact the case officer dealing with your complaint at any time and discuss the matter confidentially.

If you are not satisfied

If you are not happy with the way in which your planning enforcement complaint was dealt with, the Council has a formal complaints procedure.

Find out more about complaints.

Privacy notice

For details, see Privacy notice: Development Management Service.