Lawful Development Certification
If you want to be certain that the existing use of a building is lawful for planning purposes or that your proposal does not require planning permission you can get a certificate called a "Lawful Development Certificate" (LDC).
It is not compulsory to have an "Lawful Development Certificate" (LDC) but there may be times when you will be very glad you have got one, to confirm that the use, operation or activity declared on it is lawful for planning control purposes.
There are two types of Lawful Development Certificates you can apply for:
1. Lawful Development Certificate - Proposed Development
If you would like to know whether proposed development, including new works or changes of use of land would be lawful if carried out, you may apply to the Council for a Lawful Development Certificate by completing a Proposed Lawful Development Certificate Form [494kb] and returning it with the necessary supporting documentation and planning fee [72kb].
In submitting an application you should include a precise description of the proposal and provide plans, drawings or written documentation in support of your claim.
If there is insufficient information presented which accurately describes your proposal, a Certificate will not be issued.
2. Lawful Development Certificate - Existing Development
If you are in doubt as to whether or not existing buildings, operations, activities or uses of land are lawful, you may apply to the Council for a Lawful Development Certificate by completing an Existing Lawful Development Certificate Form [508kb] and returning it with the necessary supporting documentation and fee.
In submitting an application you should provide as much information as possible including where appropriate plans, drawings, photographs and witness statements in support of your claim.
If there is insufficient information presented to satisfy the Council that the use, operation or activity is lawful, a Certificate will not be issued.
You must supply the following Information:
An application for a Lawful Development Certificate must provide sufficient factual information for the Council to decide the application.
If it does not, the application may have to be refused.
The sort of information that can be used to support the application is as follows:
- Sworn affidavits from previous employees, suppliers, contractors etc. who have had dealings with the business in the past
- Receipts and Invoices for goods and services
- Vehicle registration documents
- VAT Receipts for Commercial Businesses
- Previous rates, council tax, community charge bills
- Any photographs indicating the previous use of a site
- Original property sales details relating to the land or buildings
The Council needs a range of factual supporting evidence to be able to grant the lawful development certificate. The onus of proof is with the applicant and if there is not sufficient information the Council will be justified in refusing a certificate.
Please do not hesitate to contact Planning Services should you wish to know more about Lawful Development Certificates or if you experience any difficulty in completing the application process.
Whether or not your building project requires Planning Permission you will still need to comply with Building Regulations, for more information and advice see: Building Control Advice - Building work over or near to a public sewer