A guide to Planning Enforcement in Carmarthenshire

What is Planning Enforcement?


The planning system operates to regulate development and the use of land in the public interest. Development plans, development management and enforcement make up the statutory planning process in Wales.

Carmarthenshire County Council recognises the importance of an effective planning enforcement service in seeking to ensure that national and local planning policies are robustly and reasonably applied, and the integrity of the system is not undermined.

Within this context, the primary objectives of our enforcement team are as follows:

  • To monitor major developments to ensure compliance with relevant conditions
  • To investigate valid reports of breaches of planning control, acting proportionately and reasonably
  • To remedy undesirable effects of unauthorised development; and
  • Taking action where appropriate and expedient to bring unauthorised development under control in the wider public interest.


Planning Enforcement Officers

The planning enforcement function of the council is carried out by the Council’s Planning Enforcement and Monitoring Officers within the Planning Division (Development Management) of the Environment Directorate.


Framework and Guidance

Planning legislation empowers the council to control and manage development and use of land and buildings in the public interest. These powers are set out, principally, in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) (“the Act”) and The Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. The legislation defines what can be considered as ‘development’ and sets out the processes for enforcing against unauthorised development.

Welsh Government Policy on planning enforcement is set out in section 3.6 of Planning Policy Wales (PPW). National policy guidance was formerly set out in Technical Advice Note (TAN) 9: Enforcement of Planning Control (1997),but is now included in the Development Management Manual, incorporating where appropriate the guidance on changes introduced by the Planning (Wales) Act 2015. This provides guidance on when enforcement action is appropriate.

The Council has a discretionary role for taking whatever enforcement action is necessary within its area as the Local Planning Authority. The Section will consider enforcement under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and legislation made thereunder. Further to this, any action taken by the planning enforcement team must be led by the Council’s Development Plan (presently the Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan adopted in December 2014).