Not all development requires Planning Permission. Traditionally advice has been given by Development Control staff over the telephone or by letter confirming whether or not Planning Permission is required. However, this service is now being over-stretched by a change brought about by the Mortgage Lenders guidelines for Solicitors. These guidelines recommend that any development should have written confirmation that Planning Permission, if needed, was obtained or if Planning was not required, that this also should be confirmed.

The Government has introduced a process called a Certificate of Lawfulness. This procedure follows a similar route to a full planning application, although in the case of proposed works the application is not advertised and there is no consultation with neighbouring properties. In the case where the development has already taken place, this is advertised and consultation with neighbouring properties is carried out.

The main benefit of ensuring that you have either a Certificate of Lawfulness or Planning Permission should that be required, is when ownership of the property is transferred to another party there are no unnecessary delays in respect of planning matters, which appear to be the case at the present time.

Making an Application
The fee for proposed works is half the current Planning Application fee at that time, but a full fee is required for existing development.

Application forms and information in respect of fees can be obtained from our ‘Forms & Fees’ section.

You should note that a ‘Lawful Development Certificate’ will only confirm lawful development under Planning Legislation and not the Building Regulations.

Page last updated on: 20/09/2005