We can help you apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC)
Sometimes the use or operation of a site can change or evolve over time, and it might be discovered that no formal change of use has been applied for.
Often a new use may have occurred for many years with no harm being caused and nobody reporting any issues, or with no planning enforcement action having been taken. This is typically only identified when a site is changing hands or being sold, when a solicitor will usually carry out checks to confirm that an existing land use is indeed lawful (i.e. it has planning permission for that use).
Where no such permission exists, there is a requirement to obtain proof in the form of a Lawful Development Certificate or LDC. This is a formal confirmation from the local planning authority that the use is acceptable and can continue because it has been established for a certain time (usually 10+ years). If this is something you need assistance with, we can help! View an example here of a recent success in obtaining an LDC.
What are Lawful Development Certificates?
There are 2 types of lawful development certificate. A local planning authority can grant a certificate confirming that:
(a) an existing use of land, or some operational development, or some activity being carried out in breach of a planning condition, is lawful for planning purposes under section 191 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990; or
(b) a proposed use of buildings or other land, or some operations proposed to be carried out in, on, over or under land, would be lawful for planning purposes under section 192 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Anyone can apply to the local planning authority to obtain a decision on whether an existing use or development, or a proposed use or development, is lawful for planning purposes or not. We have an excellent track record of working with clients to ‘make good’ and in preparing the necessary supporting evidence to confirm that the Planning Act has been complied with.
If the local planning authority is satisfied that the appropriate legal tests have been met, it will grant a lawful development certificate. Where an application has been made under section 191, the statement in a lawful development certificate of what is lawful relates only to the state of affairs on the land at the date of the certificate application.