Dangerous buildings and unauthorised developments

Report an issue with unauthorised developments, breaches of planning rules, dangerous buildings or dangerous structures.

What is unauthorised development and how do I report one?

Common examples of unauthorised development include:

  • residential or commercial developments or extensions that have not been granted planning permission, or that do not fall under permitted development rights
  • breaches of planning permission conditions, such as the hours of operation or permitted noise levels
  • breaches of building control regulations
  • unauthorised changes of use, such as from a house to a shop
  • unauthorised advertisements
  • any other unauthorised structures

Report a development you suspect is unauthorised

What is a dangerous building or structure and how do I report one?

The term 'dangerous structure' covers buildings or parts of buildings. It also includes garden walls, fences or hoardings, in fact any built structure that because of its condition could endanger the public. Dangerous structures may include:

  • collapsing boundary walls
  • falling masonry and tiles
  • buildings hit by a vehicle
  • any other damage caused by fire, weather conditions, neglect or poor maintenance

Report a dangerous building or structure

How does the council investigate reports and what action will be taken?

Unauthorised developments

We assign a case officer to investigate the complaint and see if there has been a breach of either planning rules or building control regulations. If we find a breach has taken place, we will contact the person responsible and determine a plan of action. We will inform all interested parties of the outcome of our investigation.  

In some cases, a breach may be so minor that no further action will be taken. In other cases, we will issue a warning letter and attempt to negotiate with those responsible to resolve the situation. This may include applying retrospectively for planning permission, or ceasing the unauthorised activities.

If negotiations fail, we may take enforcement action – which can eventually lead to prosecution if left unresolved.

Dangerous buildings or structures

We will visit the site of the building or structure and arrange any appropriate action to maintain the public safety. If it is considered potentially dangerous, we will make attempts to contact the owner to resolve the issue.

If the building is considered to be causing an immediate danger and we are unable to contact the owner to resolve the situation immediately, we will take the minimum action necessary to prevent the danger. This may include placing protective barriers or fencing until a more permanent solution is found. The owner will be invoiced for any expenses involved.

Can I appeal against an enforcement notice for an unauthorised building?

Anyone receiving an enforcement notice for unauthorised development has a right of appeal. There is no fee for making an appeal, unless also applying for planning permission. All appeals must be received before the date the enforcement notice takes effect. Appeals are normally decided within 36 weeks.

Learn how to appeal an enforcement notice on the GOV.UK website

Do any restrictions apply on properties used for holiday accommodation?

The Government encourages developments relating to tourism, so long as approved holiday accommodation is not used as a person’s sole or main place of residence. This helps to protect the countryside, prevent excessive pressures on local services and delivers sustainable objectives.

Many developments within the East Riding of Yorkshire provide self-catering holiday accommodation, such as caravans, cabins and building conversions, which would not have been approved unless the accommodation is used for holiday purposes only.

In deciding whether holiday accommodation breaches occupancy conditions, factors include:

  • Whether the occupier spends the majority of their time in the accommodation
  • Whether the occupier receives their mail at the accommodation
  • If the occupier is registered to vote at the accommodation, or is registered with a local GP or dentist
  • If the occupier’s child or children attend a school local to the accommodation
  • If the occupier or their family carries on employment or business when based at the accommodation