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Technical issues when searching for a planning application

We're experiencing some technical issues with our planning application search. Some customers may not be able to search for planning applications during this time. We're working hard to fix this as soon as possible and apologise for any inconvenience.

Report a suspected planning breach

What is a breach of planning?

A breach of planning control can occur when:

  • work that requires planning permission has been undertaken. But, that permission has not been obtained or it has been refused
  • conditions attached to planning permission have not been complied with
  • advertisements have been put up without consent
  • unauthorised work has been done to protected trees
  • unauthorised work has been done to listed buildings

You can check our planning portal to see what projects do not need permission from the council. This will save you time and help us deal with your enquiry quickly.

View common projects that do not need permission (opens new window)

What we can do if there is a planning breach

If you think there has been a planning breach, you can report it to us. Our team can: 

  • investigate alleged breaches of planning control
  • take steps to resolve identified breaches

Pubs and restaurants also have temporary rights to provide takeaway services.

Our Local Enforcement Plan (PDF) [362KB] (opens new window)  shows the strategy we use for investigating suspected breaches.

What you need to know

We cannot:

✗ take enforcement action unless there is a confirmed breach

✗ act on anonymous complaints of planning breaches in most cases. If the breach causes damage to the area or disturbs residents then we can look into it

✗ prevent a problem before it happens. For example, we cannot stop a development from being built until after work has started. You can check whether someone's project needs planning permission before reporting it to us. If the project does not need permission, we cannot do anything about it. Before reporting something, check the planning portals common projects (opens new window)

What we investigate

Our team can act if someone:

✔ changes the use of some land without getting planning permission

✔ builds a new structure without getting planning permission

✔ does something different to what they said in their application for planning permission

✔ breaches a condition of their planning permission

✔ lets their land or building deteriorate to the point it affects the surrounding area

✔ works to a tree that's in a conservation area or covered by a Tree Preservation Order

✔ works to a listed building without obtaining listed building consent first

✔ displays a restricted type of advertisement (opens new window) without permission

Our team cannot act on the following:

problems with the use of or works on a highway, footpath, or verge. Report the problem to Surrey County Council (opens new window) or if there's immediate danger, contact the police

✗ dangerous structures. Report the dangerous structure to building control

noise nuisances. Report a noise nuisance

fly tipping or graffiti. Report fly tipping or graffiti

Who else can help?

There are also some issues which you should seek advice about from your solicitor or Citizens Advice. These include:

  • neighbour nuisance issues
  • boundary and land ownership disputes
  • a breach of a legal contract
  • creating covenants and enforcing them

Report a suspected planning breach

Before reporting a suspected planning breach check our planning portal - common projects (opens new window). You will be able to find out which projects do not need permission before reporting it. This will save you time and help us deal with your enquiry quickly.

If you need to report more than one issue or address, you must report each instance separately.

Report suspected planning breach