Lawful development certificate
If there is doubt about whether an existing use of a site or building is permitted under planning law, or if a proposed development requires planning permission, an application can be made for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC), or Certificate of Lawfulness.
This may be useful, for example when negotiating the sale of a property, when it may be necessary to demonstrate that a development has all the necessary permissions, or when determining whether proposals are ‘permitted developments’ for which a planning application is not required.
There are two types of Lawful Development Certificate:
- Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use or Development (CLEUD). This provides certification that an existing use, or a failure to comply with a planning condition or other limitation is lawful. CLEUD's replaced established use certificates in 1992.
- Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Use or Development (CLOPUD). This provides certification that a proposed use is lawful.
An application for a Lawful Development Certificate can be made to the local planning authority. The application should include enough information to enable the local planning authority to determine whether the development is in fact lawful or not. It can be wise to consult with the local planning authority before making an application to discuss whether the application is likely to be successful and what information is required.
An application fee is payable to the local planning authority.
If the application is refused, the applicant can appeal to the planning inspectorate.
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