Homeowners and developers could be forced to tear down their properties if they flout planning regulations.
Often these planning wrangles can drag on for years.
The YEP recently reported that council officials rejected plans for one of the most controversial houses in Leeds.
Plans for a new property in the side garden of a house on The Drive, in Cross Gates, originally got the green light from Leeds City Council in 2005.
The house eventually constructed, however, was bigger than the approved application and was branded “out of place” by local residents.
After years of planning appeals and court hearings there could be light at the end of the tunnel for residents.
An application to reduce the height of the property was thrown out after it was claimed it would “cause significant harm to the character and appearance of the area”.
The YEP understands the homeowner has lodged an appeal with the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.
New figures show planners have issued 276 enforcement notices over the last two years after receiving more than 3,800 complaints of possible breaches.
Complaints include developments which do not have the correct planning permissions or have been built differently from approved plans.
Some of the most severe cases could see people forced to rip down buildings that do not have the correct planning permission.
Grade II listed The Red Pepper Restaurant, in Otley, was told to remove a canopy and adverts two years ago after the council claimed “unauthorised alterations” had been carried out.
Notices have also been served on an unauthorised builder’s compound on Kings Road, in Bramhope, and the owners of a property on Spen Lane, in West Park, were told to lower the height of a wall.
Owners of a listed building on Main Street, in Shadwell, were told by the authority that they needed to remove and replace their roof slates.
Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said: “The council takes breaches of planning control very seriously and relies, in part, on the public reporting any suspected breaches.”
Last year the YEP reported a demolition notice was served on a building blocking sunlight from a neighbour’s house.
The problem building, in Moor Knoll Gardens, in East Ardsley, was built higher and wider than it should have been.
Developers Mandale appealed against the decision.
The council checks complaints to see if there have been previous planning applications or enquiries.
They are then investigated to see whether or not there has been a breach.
Complaints are prioritised to determine whether they cause irreparable harm, significant nuisance, a risk to public safety or whether they are less urgent cases.
If it is clear no planning controls have been broken, or if the breach is of a very minor or technical nature where no harm is being caused, the council will write explaining why no action will be taken.