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9 May 2019

The Planning Enforcement Officer checks the planning permissions granted for Minerals and Waste development and investigates complaints relating to active minerals and waste sites as well as any unauthorised minerals and waste activity.

The Planning Enforcement Officer can only investigate those matters that planning legislation places under the control of the County Council, as defined in the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act. Information on what constitutes a county matter can be found in the Development Involving County Matters Guidance Note.

Informal discussions between the operator and the relevant officer will take place in the first instance to see whether the issue can be resolved without recourse to more formal action. However, in the event that it is not possible to resolve the issue informally, enforcement action may be taken.

The Planning Enforcement Officer’s primary concern is to deal with harm caused by breaches of planning control. To do so the officer follows a process that starts with opening an investigation into alleged breaches of planning control and normally concludes when:

  • It is found there has been no breach
  • Planning permission is subsequently granted
  • The harm caused by the breach has been dealt with where the planning legislation allows

Any enforcement action is taken in accordance with the policies in our Local Enforcement and Site Monitoring Plan. The plan explains how we investigate complaints and how complaints can be made.

If you are concerned that a minerals or waste site is not meeting the conditions of planning permission, you can complete an enforcement complaints form.

Alternatively, if you have ongoing concerns with a particular site you may wish to record this information on the attached

enforcement diary sheet and return it to

Once we have received the complaint an officer will investigate the matter. Essex County Council provides quarterly summaries of enforcement action, and records of action are kept online for one year following their publication:

Any person served with an enforcement notice has a right to appeal enforcement notice to the Secretary of State via the Planning Inspectorate. To view an Enforcement Notice see here.

If you have a query or require more information on enforcement please contact the County Planning Enforcement Officer, Suzanne Armstrong on 0333 0136823 or 0333 0139808 or email