The Development & Planning Authority has a duty under law to investigate and take action against possible breaches of planning control and breaches of the Building Regulations.
The Land Planning and Development (Guernsey) Law, 2005 (available in the downloads section) and the associated Land Planning and Development (Enforcement) Ordinance, 2007, set out the powers available to ensure that compliance with the planning restrictions and requirements that apply under the Law and the requirements of the Building Regulations are appropriately enforced.
A Statement of Planning Enforcement Policy [142kb] is available for further information regarding the role of enforcement, making a complaint, enforcement policy principles, enforcement powers, the register of enforcement notices and appeals. The Planning Enforcement Guidance Note [250kb] provides general information on planning enforcement and procedures. Please note that complaints will remain anonymous.
The enforcement notice websearch provides information of notices served on unauthorised developments.
Not all works require formal planning permission. More information and guidance can be found here regarding whether proposals need permission.
Breaches of Planning Control
- The vast majority of development on the Island takes place in accordance with planning rules. However, there are a number of cases each year where breaches of planning control have taken place and for the most part, the Authority relies on the public, the Douzaine, Deputies and other States' Committees to help identify breaches of planning control. The role of planning enforcement is to investigate complaints about the possible breaches of planning law.
- Breaches of planning control include:
- Working being carried out without planning permission (Link to 'Do I need permission' page)
- Departures from the approved plans of a planning permission
- Non-compliance with conditions imposed by a planning permission
- Unauthorised works to a Protected Building (Link to 'Protected buildings' page)
- Unauthorised change of use (Link to 'planning use classes' page)
- Unauthorised advertising or signage (Signs and advertisements)
- Unauthorised works to trees and removal of hedges and earthbanks (trees, hedges and earthbanks page)
- Demolition of a Protected Building without first obtaining planning permission is a criminal offence. If you believe that a protected property, or part of one, is being demolished or altered without planning permission, please notify the Authority immediately.
- There is a presumption against the demolition of any building, structure, or feature that makes a positive contribution to the character of a conservation area. If you suspect that unauthorised works are being carried out in a conservation area please notify the Authority.
- A breach of a Tree Protection Order (TPO) would result in direct prosecution. More information is available at www.gov.gg/needpermission under the Trees, Hedges and Earthbanks dropdown.
Breaches of Building Regulations
- Breaches of the Building Regulations are often identified through the Building Control site inspection regime. This is when site inspections are carried out during the course of construction through the statutory notification process.
- Breaches of Building Regulations include:
- Structural alterations
- Interpretation of plans
- Life safety matters
- Site conditions resulting in deviations from approved plans
- Such breaches are taken seriously and measures taken to ensure remedial works, where necessary, are identified and are normally carried out by the contractor. Where this is not possible, further enforcement action may be taken through the issuing of notices.
- There are a number of enforcement tools that Planning and Building Control can use. All enforcement tools are legally binding and failure to comply could lead to prosecution.
- These include:
- Challenge Notice - This may be issued when further information is required. The notice can be served on anyone who Planning and Building Control believe could supply information relating to the alleged infringement or works taking place.
- Compliance Notice - This can be issued to anyone who has an interest in the land including contractors, sub-contractors and land owners. This notice allows for a 28 day period when an appeal can be lodged before the notice comes into force. A defined period of time will be given in which the instructions on the notice must be carried out.
- Interim Compliance Notice - This can be served in conjunction with a compliance notice, where an activity or works carried out are causing serious problems or nuisance and this can come into effect within a 24 hour period. This will be immediate in the case of a breach of the Building Regulations.
- Completion Notice - This can be issued where the development has not been completed within a reasonable period.
- Injunction - This is served in extreme cases. Injunctions can be granted by the Royal Court following an application by the Development & Planning Authority. An injunction can prevent something or require something to be done. A person who contravenes a planning injunction may be found guilty of contempt of Court.
- Preservation Notice - This can require works that are urgently necessary to preserve or protect a protected monument or protected building or to prevent its deterioration.
Notify us of a suspected breach of Planning or Building Regulations
- If you are concerned that a particular development is taking place without planning permission, or is in breach of a condition that may have been attached to a planning permission, you can make a complaint to the Planning Service. However, any complaint should be based on planning considerations set out in the Law.
- Complaints should be made in writing to the Office of the Development & Planning Authority. The following details should be included and it is helpful to include photographs as well:
- Full name
- Postal address
- Telephone number
- Email address
- It is recognised that there are some circumstances where complaints will need to be made by phone or in person. For example, when a tree is being felled/damaged or demolition works are proceeding without consent.
- Planning Note 6 Planning Enforcement - Making a complaint under the compliance provisions [262kb] provides further guidance on making a complaint.