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Lawful Development Certificates

What are they? Why apply for one?

It is sometimes necessary to formally establish the lawfulness either of an existing building or use or that a proposal does not require planning permission. Examples of when this is necessary or advisable include:

  • Establishing the lawfulness of the use of a building or land for longer than 4 or 10 years

  • Proving the lawfulness of the stationing of a caravan or mobile home in residential garden for ancillary use

  • Confirming that planning permission is not required for schemes permitted under the provisions of the General Permitted Development Order 2015 - Permitted Development

The onus, in applying for a Lawful Development Certificate, is always on the applicant to prove, on 'the balance of probabilities' that the building, use or proposal is lawful. This means that applications should be carefully prepared and thorough evidence compiled and submitted in the presentation of the applicant's case. Such evidence might include:

  • Plans

  • Bills

  • Receipts

  • Photographs

  • Statutory Declarations

In the case of a LDC to confirm that planning permission is not required for proposals considered to be Permitted Development, you will need full plans illustrating the proposal and showing clearly that the scheme meets the criteria set out in Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the GPDO.

If you need to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate, we can help. Contact us at or call 01963 371180.

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