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Luton Borough Council

Enforcement powers available to local planning authorities

Legislation provides us with a general discretion to carry out enforcement of the planning regulations.

Before taking action of any kind, local authorities are advised to take enforcement action only if they are satisfied that it is expedient to do so. 'Expedient' means only when it is appropriate having regard to the nature and extent of the breach of control involved and should be informed by the following:
  1. the public interest
  2. the action taken should be proportionate to the breach of control involved
  3. the development plan and other material planning considerations
So, the essential steps to be taken in the consideration of enforcement action mean that:
  • we must decide whether the breach of control results in significant harm to public amenity
  • action should not be taken just because development has started without planning permission
  • we do not always have to take action but the particular circumstances of the case must always be considered
In the majority of cases, unless the breach of control is particularly serious, we will always endeavour to resolve a breach of planning control through negotiation rather than resort to formal enforcement action. Many breaches of planning control can be remedied in this way.
Contact info
Development control
Luton Council, Town Hall, George Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2BQ

[email protected]


© 2023 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ