A planning enforcement officer is someone responsible for investigating complaints regarding planning legislation breaches, obtaining evidence, and preparing advice to resolve the problem. They investigate by visiting the site when necessary, attempt to resolve breaches via discussion and negotiation, or when required, produce a written recommendation or take formal action.

The planning enforcement officer will also be involved in any planning applications or appeals that may emerge from the enforcement action. When first notified of the potential breach, the officer has the right to enter the development site at a reasonable hour without a warrant to check if there has been a breach of planning. Obstructing their entrance is seen as a criminal offence.