When the Enforcement team initially receive a complaint, an acknowledgement letter is sent confirming that the enquiry has been received. If the officers decide that a complaint is urgent, an officer will normally visit the site involved on the same day. An urgent complaint can involve work to trees in conservation areas and trees that are protected by tree preservation orders, work to listed buildings, demolition of buildings and walls in conservation areas, and other work that could have a lasting and harmful effect on the environment. If the complaint is not considered to be urgent, an officer will normally visit the site within five working days of receiving the complaint.
Once an officer has visited the site and collected any relevant information, including the planning records for the site, officers will then have to decide what further action (if any) needs to be taken. If a breach of planning regulations has taken place the Council may issue an Enforcement Notice explaining the nature of the breach and indicating what steps should be taken to rectify it. If the works are in progress and may cause environmental damage a Stop Notice may be issued requiring all works to be halted.
For more information please see RBWM's customer guide: Enforcement of Planning Regulations.