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Reporting work without permission

Planning enforcement

Before making an enforcement complaint, you should always search our application records to see if permission has been granted for the development. If you believe that permission has not been granted, or that the development requires permission and you would like us to investigate a possible breach of the planning rules, report it and we will investigate.

Building without planning permission

In order to safeguard the integrity of the planning system, central government has given the Council discretionary powers to investigate and enforce against breaches in planning controls.

The complaints we investigate include:

  • building or engineering work without permission
  • changing the use of land or buildings without permission
  • failure to adhere to planning conditions
  • works to listed buildings without consent
  • displaying advertisement without consent
  • untidy land affecting amenity
  • unauthorised works to trees subject to Tree Preservation Orders and in Conservation Areas

Where confirmed breaches cause harm, and it is considered expedient and in the public interest to do so, we may take formal action in order to remedy the breach. We may also request that developers or landowners submit an application for retrospective permission, should we consider planning permission may be granted with or without certain alterations to make the development acceptable and in compliance with our planning policies. Where such applications are submitted, we will assess them in the same manner as an application for development that has not yet taken place. There are, however, many types of work that can be done without planning permission, these are known as permitted development. Alternatively check whether the work requires planning permission.

Report unauthorised development

If you think someone is carrying out building works in Islington without the necessary permission, complete the Planning Enforcement Investigation Form. Please email the completed form to Alternatively you can write to us, using the following address:

Planning Enforcement
Islington Council
Fourth Floor, Laycock Wing
222 Upper Street
London N1 1XR

Planning enforcement investigation form

Please ensure that you give full details to enable us to investigate the problem:

  • the address of the property or land in question
  • details of what you think is wrong
  • your name and contact details, including, if possible, an email address and phone number
  • any other information such as photos

We will acknowledge of a complaint, confirm the case officer’s details and a likely date for a site visit to be completed. We will inform you of any key decision or action we have taken.

Confidentiality in planning investigations

When we investigate we will not give out your details at any time during the investigation. If the case is serious it may lead to a court case or an appeal, so we may ask you to be a witness. We will only ask you if we think your evidence is crucial to our case. This is rare, and normally it is up to you whether you want to be a witness or not.

What Planning Enforcement can't help you with:

  • breaches that have not yet occurred
  • property damage caused by building works
  • encroachment
  • Party Wall disputes
  • property ownership
  • obstruction of private access or shared driveways

Citizens Advice has more information.

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