A Certificate of Lawful Use or Development, if approved, certifies that a use or development is immune from enforcement action because it is lawful. Do you have immunity from enforcement?
Reasons For Obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate
A Certificate of Lawful Development can be applied for an existing or proposed use, operation or activity that otherwise might amount to a breach of a planning condition. It can be applied for, for example, to claim that the following uses are lawful:
- 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 Development?
It is vital for landowners to explore the powerful rules of immunity to enforcement action. 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 provided 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 Lawful Development Certificate would be suitable in your case. Find out more about change of use applications.
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.
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. It can also lead to high and abortive costs and wasted time. We aim to prevent this or if it has arisen, to help you resolve the issue as swiftly as possible.
Application For Lawful Development Certificate – How Do I Apply?
To get a Lawful Development Certificate, an application must be made to the local council. You can do this through the planning portal website.
The process can be complex and involves submitting the correct type of form, supporting evidence and fee. Often the legal intricacies are so wide-ranging they cannot be comprehended by local councils, causing an application to be partly of wholly refused.
To avoid this, it is best to seek expert legal advice from one of our solicitors. We specialise in the application for Lawful Development Certificates will support you throughout the process, using our expert knowledge to obtain certification and immunity on your behalf.
Lawful Development Certificate Fee
If you wish to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC), you must submit the correct application form, supporting documentation and relevant fee to your local authority.
How much is the Lawful Development Certificate fee?
The Lawful Development Certificate fee depends upon the type of application being made. Different application forms are needed for each type of certificate and the cost will vary accordingly. For example:
- An LDC for existing use or operation (which states it is lawful not to comply with a particular condition) is £195.
- An LDC for existing use or operation is the same as the full planning fee for a permission application.
- An LDC for proposed use is half the normal planning fee.
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.
Can We Help You?
Please call our friendly team on 01634 811 118, complete our online enquiry form, or email our planning law expert Nicholas Kingsley-Smith. Find out more about our other planning services. No matter what, we've got your back.
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