If you want to be certain that the existing use of a building is lawful for planning purposes or that your proposal does not require planning permission you can get a certificate called a ‘Lawful Development Certificate’ (LDC) (or Certificate of Lawful Use). It is not compulsory to have an LDC but there may be times when you need one to confirm that the use, operation or activity named in it is lawful for planning control purposes.
There are two types of Lawful Development Certificates you can apply for:
Lawful Development Certificate - Proposed Development (section 192)
If you would like to know whether proposed development, including new works or changes of use of land would be lawful if carried out, you may apply to the Council for a Lawful Development Certificate by completing a Proposed Lawful Development Certificate Application and returning it with the necessary supporting documentation and fee. Such applications are subject to the procedures and legislation governing planning applications. Whereas we have 8 weeks to determine such applications we will endeavour to turn these around in significantly less time than this.
Lawful Development Certificate - Existing Development (section 191)
If you are in doubt as to whether or not existing buildings, operations, activities or uses of land are lawful, you may apply to the Council for a Lawful Development Certificate by completing an Existing Lawful Development Certificate Application and returning it with the necessary supporting documentation and fee.
What do I need to submit?
Information on applying online, downloading application forms, a list of fees and what to include in your application can be found on our apply for planning permission web page. The fee for a LDC is equivalent to 50% of the applicable fee for planning applications.