Compliance and enforcement are essential in controlling works and advertisements to conserve the special qualities of the Exmoor National Park.

The National Park Authority is responsible for investigating potential breaches of planning and listed building control and has powers to take action to remedy a breach as appropriate. Breaches of control could include unauthorised buildings, structures, earthworks, a change of use of a building or land, or the non-compliance with a condition attached to a planning permission. The National Park Authority has a dedicated officer to investigate such breaches.

All breaches of planning control are taken seriously, however, if a breach is identified it does not necessarily mean that the Authority will take action. Often it is not judged expedient to take action on perhaps a minor technical breach, or it may be more appropriate if a planning application is submitted to seek to resolve outstanding matters. However, if the breach is serious, causing harm and cannot be remedied by any other method then the Authority is likely to take enforcement action to address that breach. Whether action is taken will depend on the circumstances of each case. Therefore, our investigations will normally result in one of the following:

  • no breach of planning control has taken place and therefore no further action required
  • there is a breach, but it happened some time ago and is now immune from enforcement action
  • there is a breach, but it is not considered expedient to take any further action. Please note that it is not unlawful to develop/use land without planning permission. It will be open for the development to seek retrospective planning permission in such circumstances.
  • There is a breach identified and it is considered that further action is required to remove the breach of planning control.

The Authority has published a Guide to explain the way that we will investigate a potential breach of control and the priority attached to different types of investigation. The Guide can be downloaded here. How to report a suspected Breach

If you are concerned that development has been, or is being carried out without planning permission or any conditions attached to a planning decision are not being followed, you can tell us clicking the 'Submit Enforcement Breach' link below. You can also use the Planning Mapping to see whether an enforcement notice has already been served on a given site. We will investigate all reasonable complaints, prioritising them according to their urgency and the potential harm. Depending on priority you may not receive an update for several weeks.

We will act proportionately, taking enforcement action where appropriate to remedy harm and when it is in the wider public interest.

Submit Enforcement Breach