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Certificates of Lawful Use


Lawful Development Certificates provide the possibility of obtaining a statutory document confirming that the use, operation or activity named in the document is 'lawful' for planning control purposes.

It does not overcome the need to obtain and comply with other legal requirements, such as Building Regulations.


You can either apply for a Certificate of Proposed Use or Development: which is asking whether a proposal requires planning permission; or a Certificate of Existing Use or Development: where you can seek confirmation that a use or development that has already taken place has become lawful in planning terms.


The latter approach is generally used where unlawful development has occurred for more than a specified period (recognised as the 4-year and 10-year rules) and the applicant seeks to secure a lawful use certificate in order to make the development lawful for the future.


These certificates are also used to establish whether a development complies with Permitted Development Rights.


We can provide an assessment of your planning proposal in relation to lawful use, provide guidance on the best approach and make the most appropriate application if required.

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