What is planning enforcement?

Enforcement is action taken to remedy breaches of planning control. It is vital to safeguarding the quality of the landscape and buildings in the National Park. Breaches of control include failure to secure necessary planning permission, failure to comply with conditions attached to planning permissions, unauthorised works to listed buildings or trees and failure to secure consent for the display of advertisements.

The Authority cannot investigate complaints that relate to non-planning issues such as the structural stability of buildings (unless listed) which is a building control matter, high hedges, noise nuisance, artificial light pollution or waste disposal/fly tipping. These matters are investigated by other organisations – to find out more please see ‘more information’ below.

If you want to know more about the Authority’s approach to enforcement, we have produced a ‘Short Guide to Enforcement’. We have also produced a longer and more detailed ‘Enforcement Plan’ which includes more detail on the Authority’s approach as well as the legislative background to enforcement and the Authority’s approach to prosecution. If you are unsure of whether something needs (or has) planning permission please ask us.

Our approach to enforcement

When investigating and dealing with apparent breaches of planning control, we have to strike a careful balance between the rights of the individuals concerned and the wider public interest. When dealing with enforcement complaints we will:

  1. Take formal enforcement action as a last resort once other methods to remedy any breaches of planning control have been exhausted. We will seek to negotiate a solution wherever appropriate;
  2. We will take action commensurate with the scale and impact of the unauthorised development and will only take formal enforcement action if it is in the wider public interest.
  3. We will prioritise cases and may not take action where a breach is minor and does not materially affect the amenities of those nearby or the landscape or buildings of the National Park.

Reporting a planning breach

If you are concerned that a development is proceeding without the necessary consent or is not in accordance with a consent already granted you can report this, using our online form.

Your information will be dealt with in confidence and your name will not be disclosed to anyone, including the person you are making the complaint about.

What happens next?

Priority is given to those cases where the greatest harm is being caused. Investigation will include site visits, looking at the planning history of the site and having discussions with the owner and/or the person who has informed us. The Authority will decide whether or not a breach of control has occurred, determine an appropriate course of action and advise you of what has been decided.

Finding information about enforcement cases

A register giving details of all Enforcement Notices served is available at the Authority’s offices in Helmsley.

For more information on Enforcement visit the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website.

Listed Building and Conservation Areas

Different planning policies or rules around changes that can and can’t be made to a building may apply if a building is listed or within a conservation area. If you want to know whether a building is listed please check Historic England’s National Heritage List for England. In conservation areas ‘Article 4 Directions’ may removed permitted development rights for certain development. A list of directions and the conservation areas to which they relate within the National Park is available. The Authority has also produced a quide to listed buildings for owners and a guidance note on Article 4 Directions.

Environmental nuisance

Artificial light pollution along with noise and smell nuisance can be investigated by other organisations under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Help with these matters along with fly tipping is available via your local council environmental health department websites.




CRT.sca@northyorks.gov.uk for commercial and residentialregulationteam@northyorks.gov.uk for residential

Highway Issues

For issues relating to highways such as overgrown vegetation within the highway verge, obstructions, parked vehicles, caravans and other storage please contact the relevant area team. Email: Area2.thirsk@northyorks.gov.uk or Area3.whitby@northyorks.gov.uk

Flooding and drainage

Help with issues around flooding depends on the locations and nature of the flooding. More information can be found here. Further information on land drainage is available on the North Yorkshire Council website.

Environmental pollution

Some issues such as works that may impact on land which involves pollution of a watercourse or main river and waste transfer should be reported both to the National Park Authority and to the Environment Agency.

Email: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

Works in respect of protected environments such as Special Sites of Scientific Interest should be reported to both the National Park Authority and Natural England.

Email: enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk

Organisations such as Yorkshire Wildlife Trust can also be contacted regarding our concerns relating to protected species and habitats.

Email: info@ywt.org.uk

Common land consent

Certain types of works on common land need the Secretary of State’s consent under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, while other types of work can be carried out without consent because they are exempt. Please see the Planning Inspectorate web site for further details or contact the commons land team with any questions.

Email: commonlandcasework@planninginspectorate.gov.uk

Building control

Concerns in respect of matters relating to the structural stability of buildings (unless listed) particularly where there is a concern about public safety should be directed to North Yorkshire Building Control Partnership.

Email: enquiries@nybcp.org


Hilary Saunders, Planning Team Leader
Rosie Gee, Senior Enforcement Officer
Scout Newby, Planning Assistant (Northern area)
Gemma Brown, Planning Assistant (Southern area)

Tel: 01439 772700

Planning guidance on pop-up camping and car parks

back to top