Certificate of Lawfulness

What is a Certificate of Lawfulness?

A Certificate of Lawfulness is usually made when you want to check that a development or use is actually lawful. These legal certificates are an excellent but not very well known way of dealing with certain planning cases. And they can often be a far better alternative to an ordinary application for planning permission.

We can help you obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness by assisting your application to council and even seeing through an appeal if necessary. We do this by ensuring you have the right evidence to back up your application in the first place, as well as guiding you through any potential pitfalls along the way.

How can a Certificate of Lawfulness help me?

A Certificate of Lawfulness is to legally and formally establish that something is lawful even if previously it was thought to be otherwise for an EXISTING use or development of a property (or a ‘CLEUD’) or for a PROPOSED use or development of a property (or a ‘CLOPUD’). A Certificate of Lawfulness brings several important benefits:

  • Can vastly boost the value of a property whether a house or business.
  • Relates to a particular property no matter who owns it.
  • Once obtained the Council cannot change their mind as the Certificate has a statutory authority which they cannot go back on (except in cases of dishonesty). Therefore it is far better than the usual ‘informal officer opinion’ advice where another planning officer may later say something different.
  • Council must by law issue the Certificate if the relevant evidence has been provided and the circumstances mean that the use/development is lawful.
  • Irrelevant that the Council or any neighbours may not like the application.
  • After Certificate issued, Council cannot take enforcement action on the matter.
  • Applications can be made for property which is not yet in your ownership.

Our experience in Certificates of Lawfulness

We’ve had great experience in dealing with Certificates of Lawfulness. Here are some of the cases we’ve covered over the years:

  • Applications for an existing use to be recognised as lawful because of the 10-year rule where clients have lived in their homes in breach of a planning condition.
  • Applications for an existing building or house or extension to be recognised as lawful because of the 4-year rule where it was built without planning permission.
  • Applications for the use of a building for an industrial use originally without planning permission but which has now gained immunity from enforcement by the council because of the 10-year rule.
  • Applications relating to a new building or an extension not yet been built where a client wants to be certain that it does not require planning permission.
  • Applications to prove that an old planning permission is still ‘live’ and work can go ahead without any further permission.

Whether it’s a commercial premises or your own home, why not contact us today on freephone 0800 088 6415 for a free consultation to see if a Certificate of Lawfulness is an option for you?