Enforcing planning controls

We can investigate breaches of planning controls and take action if necessary.

Possible breaches can include:

  • work being carried out without planning permission or other consent
  • an unauthorised change of use
  • failure to comply with conditions attached to a permission or consent
  • departures from approved plans or consent

Raise concerns

Tell us about possible breaches:


You'll need to provide:

  • the address of the property and the name of person involved (if available)
  • details of the suspected breach with times and dates (if relevant)
  • your name, telephone number and address
  • an email address (if available)
  • information on how the breach affects you
  • whether you want us to treat the enquiry confidentially

If all the information above is not provided, a planning enforcement case will not be opened. We'll send an acknowledgement within 10 working days if the information you've provided suggests there has been a breach of planning control.

Investigating breaches

Investigations are prioritised based on the effect of the breach and the significance of the site. The time to resolve issues or take action will vary on a case by case basis.

We will consider each case and decide on the best solution. Our aim is to resolve problems rather than punish mistakes. Only a small number of cases usually require formal enforcement action, we'll try to resolve matters through negotiation if possible.

Planning register

Details of enforcement notice, breaches of condition notices and stop notices are entered into an Enforcement Register, which forms part of the Planning Register.

Enforcement notices can be inspected in full at Kirkbank House, English Street, Dumfries, DG1 2HS by appointment.

Further information

Our Planning Enforcement Charter explains how the enforcement process works and provides further detail on our role and the standards we've set:

Page last updated: 13/11/2023
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