The Planning System: Enforcing Planning Control
The Department strongly recommends that you should obtain planning permission, where necessary, before commencing development. While it is not a criminal offence to carry out development without first getting the necessary permission, if you carry out unacceptable development it is likely you will have to take remedial action. This could include demolition of a building.
The Department endeavours to ensure that planning regulations are followed, for example, that planning permission has been given for the development and that the development is being carried out in accordance with the terms of the permission. If you think someone has not complied with the regulations, contact the Local Area Planning Office for your area.
The Department will decide the appropriate action it should take if planning regulations are not complied with. Normally, the Department will attempt to resolve the issue by discussion rather than initiate enforcement action.
The Department may, for example, suggest that an application for 'retrospective' planning permission be submitted so that development can be authorised, if it is acceptable. Alternatively formal enforcement action may be initiated. It is important to remember that a failure to obtain planning permission could affect the value of your property.