Last edited 15 Oct 2020

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.

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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