Lawful Development Certificate (Existing) Guidance
Lawful Development Certificate (Existing)
Guidance for Existing Lawful Development Certificates.
This is a special type of application that seeks to certify that a development is immune from enforcement action because it is lawful.
An “existing” lawful development certificate is used for existing development. This can relate to uses of land and buildings, or building
works or other operations.
Reasons for applying for a Certificate:
In submitting an application you will need to specify why you believe the development to be lawful. This might be because the works
involved did not/would not amount to “development”; the works were/are permitted by a development order or an express grant of
planning permission; or the time limits within which the Council could take enforcement action have passed.
It is up to the applicant to provide the evidence to prove their claim.
The time limits for the taking of enforcement action are set out in Section 171B of the Town and Country
Planning Act as follows:
- Where there has been a breach of planning control consisting in the carrying out without planning permission of building, engineering,
mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, no enforcement action may be taken after the end of the period of four years
beginning with the date on which the operations were substantially completed.
- Where there has been a breach of planning control consisting in the change of use of any building to use as a single dwellinghouse,
no enforcement action may be taken after the end of the period of four years beginning with the date of the breach.
- In the case of any other breach of planning control, no enforcement action may be taken after the end of the period of ten years
beginning with the date of the breach.
It follows that development becomes lawful if it remains for longer than these periods without being enforced against.