Certificates of Lawfulness
A Certificate of Lawfulness is issued by your local planning authority to certify that a proposed or existing development is lawful. They’re not compulsory, but are recommended if you want to be certain that the existing use of a building is legal for planning purposes or that your proposal does not require planning permission.
If your planning application is rejected, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the road for your development proposal. You can either:
1. address the reasons for its refusal and resubmit it, or
2. lodge an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate, an independent Government body which will review the case and either agree with the original decision or overturn it. Applications for small developments are generally dealt with by written representation to the Inspectorate. In some cases, it will be necessary to request an informal hearing before a planning inspector. Major proposals are often reviewed by a public local inquiry.
Local planning authorities have responsibility for taking enforcement action to tackle alleged breaches of planning control within their jurisdiction. This is a convoluted and quickly-evolving area, informed by numerous appeals and High Court rulings. Our planning specialists are experienced in negotiating with local planning authorities to achieve the best outcomes for our clients.