Unauthorised building work

Planning permission is required for most development that takes place in Fife. Enforcement action can be taken if  work is being carried out without permission.  Our Enforcement Charter provides details of what is considered to be a breach of planning regulations and how to report any incidents to your Enforcement Officer.  You will need to complete the Planning Enforcement Form if you want us to investigate any unauthorised work.

We will investigate all alleged breaches of planning control which can include:

  • work being carried out without permission
  • an unauthorised change of use to a building or piece of land
  • failure to follow conditions set down as part of planning consent
  • failure to follow previously agreed plans.

An Enforcement Register is available for you online to view cases where formal enforcement action has been taken.  

We will usually attempt to find a solution to unauthorised breaches through negotiation and discussions, rather than taking immediate statutory action. This may be through the submission of a retrospective application or a requirement to take steps to improve or restore specific issues within a development.

In cases where the breach is of a serious nature and has a damaging impact on the character or amenity of an area or building, the Council can serve an Enforcement Notice.

Where the breach is particularly severe a Stop Notice may be served in conjunction with the Enforcement Notice, requiring immediate cessation of the unauthorised activities. Failure to comply with these Notices constitutes a criminal offence, and the Council can report the matter to the Procurator Fiscal or take direct action to secure compliance.

Our Enforcement Charter  is based on the national version issued by the Scottish Planning Enforcement Forum and the Scottish Government.  This will provide all customers and interested parties with an informative introduction to how we enforce planning controls across Fife.



Enterprise, Planning and Protective Services
Tel: 03451 55 11 22 Contact Enterprise, Planning and Protective Services online
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