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Planning enforcement

Last updated 11 June 2015

Planning enforcement investigate building work carried out without the necessary planning permission, or work which does not keep to the original plan for which permission was granted.

The Government produces legislation and regulations which govern what does, and does not, require planning permission. We have legal powers and duties to implement and enforce planning law.

View the Planning Enforcement Policy (64KB PDF file).

In delivering our functions of checking and ensuring compliance with the relevant legislation; we will act in accordance with the Regulators’ Code, our planning enforcement policy and our general enforcement protocol. Please click the following link for our service standards.

Making a complaint

If you are concerned about a development near you which you think does not have planning permission, you can tell us or ask us about it by using our  online planning enforcement enquiry form.

If you are unable to use the online form then you can email us at

Alternatively, you can write to us at:

Planning Enforcement
Environment and Regeneration Waltham Forest Council Sycamore House Forest Road Walthamstow
E17 4JF

What do we deal with

  • High hedges or trees
  • Satellite dishes
  • Change of use commercial: the use of the building/site is changed without planning permission
  • Change of use residential: the use of a residential is changed without planning permission
  • Domestic extension: building works is carried out without planning permission or planning conditions are not kept
  • Flat conversation: property that has been converted into flats without planning permission
  • Home of Multiple Occupation: property that is used as a HMO without the appropriate licence or planning permission
  • Unauthorised advertising: advertisement that is displayed without planning permission
  • Untidy land

What we don't deal with

Planning enforcement is a varied department who deals with a number of enquires regarding alleged breach of planning control, however not every new building or change of use needs planning permission from the Council. Central Government lists a number of classes of development which, subject to certain conditions, can be carried out as 'permitted development' for single dwelling houses and some kind of commercial and industrial uses. Other issues that the planning enforcement team do not deal with are:

Householder development

Please note that not all householder development requires planning permission to be obtained from the Local Planning Authority. Permitted Development allows for certain development to take place without the need to make a planning application. The following interactive guide sets out what constitutes Permitted Development see

Planning enforcement register

The enforcement register will be updated on a monthly basis. If you have any questions regarding the contents of the register please phone 020 8496 3000 and ask for the Planning Enforcement Team.

For planning enforcement registers prior to 2009 contact the Planning Enforcement Team.

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