Certificate of Lawfulness, Lawful Use and the Lawful Development Certificate

A Certificate of Lawfulness, if approved, certifies that a development is immune from enforcement action. A lawful development certificate is valid in a wide range of cases – Kingsley Smith Solicitors are planning experts who may be able to help with a wide range of certificate of lawful use cases.

Reasons for Obtaining a Certificate of Lawful Use or Certificate of Lawful Development

A Certificate of Lawful use development can be for an existing use, operation or activity that otherwise might breach a planning condition. It can be applied to a claim that the following classes as valid under a certificate of lawful use.

  • existing use of buildings/land
  • operations (building works) that have been carried out
  • failure to comply with a condition/limitation attached to a planning permission

Why Apply For A Certificate of Lawful Use?

It is vital for landowners to explore the powerful rules of immunity to enforcement action by utilising the ability to apply for a certificate of lawful use and obtaining a valid lawful development certificate. They are of particular value in respect of non-agricultural uses by farmers and industrial or non-conforming uses - in some cases they can effectively upgrade the existing planning permission, providing the rules established in a planning case of Burdle about planning units allow (see below). We will review your circumstances and advise you whether a Certificate of Lawfulness would be suitable in your case.

All too often Councils claim they know the legal position on immunity, but regularly this proves untrue. The only way to be certain is to obtain expert legal advice regarding your lawful development certificate

Our Experience in Certificates of Lawfulness and the Certificate of Lawful Use

We are experienced in a wide variety of immunity and certification cases and can advise on many aspects of the certificate of lawfulness. We realise that every case is unique, and we always aim to find the most beneficial route for a client. In some instances we even create development opportunities that did not previously exist - we welcome the chance to help you and work on a resolution through a lawful development notice

If you would like advice on obtaining a Certificate of Lawful Use or want to start applying for a certificate of lawful development, please call us on 01634 811 118 or complete our online enquiry form to find out what can be done under these regulations. Browse more information regarding planning law for business.

Planning Units

The term “planning unit” is often misunderstood and is regularly the subject of inspector and judicial rulings that cause serious upset. Failure to understand your planning unit might ruin the basis for any particular development you seek and it can also lead to high costs and wasted time. We aim to prevent this or help you resolve any relevant issues as swiftly as possible regarding the certificate of lawful use.

Please call us on 01634 811 118, complete our online enquiry form, or email our planning law expert Nicholas Kingsley-Smith.

Back to Planning Law & Environmental Law

Go to Certificate of Lawful Development for Individuals.

Alternatively, find out “What is a Certificate of Lawfulness” in our blog post.

Lawful Development Certificate and Certificate of Lawfulness