Reporting breached planning regulations

Harrow's planning enforcement team investigates a range of breaches including:  

  • advertisements
  • breaches of condition
  • changes of use
  • developments not built in accordance with approved plans
  • extensions
  • loft extensions
  • illegal outbuildings including beds in sheds
  • Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)
  • unauthorized flats or Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
  • untidy land

Report a planning breach


Some works are considered Permitted Development and therefore do not require planning permission. Before you report a breach, it is important to determine whether the development does not meet the necessary criteria under Permitted Development.

Some problems will be more appropriately dealt with by other sections within the Council, such as Environmental Health, Building Control, or Highways Enforcement.

Where appropriate, complainants will be directed to the relevant section. View the planning enforcement policy.

Civil disputes

It is important to note that civil disputes between neighbours, such as boundary disputes, cannot be dealt with by the planning enforcement service.

Minor development

Some minor forms of development are allowed without express planning permission or consent being granted by the council (except where such rights have been explicitly withdrawn).

What can't I report?

You will not be able to report trespassing, boundary disputes (civil disputes) or residential amenities (noise and smell). Ongoing works cannot be reported as a breach is not deemed to occur until works are completed.

After a breach has been reported

This is the procedure we will follow when a breach in planning regulations has been reported:

  • The council will read and acknowledge your report of a breach and will send out an officer to investigate before any action can be considered. Due to the volume of complaints received the council prioritises complaints in accordance with its planning enforcement policy.
  • If a breach of policy has been discovered and meets our criteria to justify council action, you will be advised of the outcome in writing.
  • In the event that there is no breach of planning regulations or the pursuit of the breach is not considered to meet the council policy, you will be advised of the decision.

Register of notices

You can view notices relating to enforcement notices, stop notices and breach of conditions notices by downloading the Enforcement Notice Register.

If you require written confirmation that you have remedied the breach of planning identified in the Enforcement Notice, please email the planning enforcement department using the details below.


It is important that members of the public feel confident about reporting breaches of planning control to the council. With that in mind:

  • the council will not disclose complainant details to external third parties without the complainant's consent
  • the identity of a person making a complaint will be kept confidential unless the council is required by law to release the information
  • if a case proceeds to formal action, evidence from the complainant may be needed as part of the council's case. In such cases, we will usually ask the complainant to make a statement. Anonymous complaints, however, will not normally be taken or pursued.