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 apply for a "Lawful Development Certificate" (LDC).
It is not compulsory to have a Lawful Development Certificate but there may be times when you need one to confirm that the use, operation or activity named in it is lawful.
You can apply to us for a Lawful Development Certificate and we will give you the forms you need. The application must provide sufficient information for us to decide the application or else it may be refused. You will have to pay a fee. This will be broadly similar to what you pay for a planning application.
Often the issues involved in Lawful Development Certificates are complex and if you decide you need to apply for a certificate you might benefit by obtaining professional advice. Our planning officers can also help. They will tell you about the sort of information needed to support your application.
You can appeal if:
- your application is partly or wholly refused, or
- is granted differently from what you asked for, or
- is not determined within the time limit of eight weeks.
'What is a planning certificate of lawfulness?'
Councillor Edwina Hannaford explains: