“I am prepared for worst, but hope for the best” Benjamin Disraeli

Whether you are considering a future sale of your property or hoping to avoid planning enforcement in the future, a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development (CLEUD) can help to avoid future complications, issues and needless worries.

What is it?

A Certificate of Lawful Existing Use or Development is a legal document, not a planning permission, issued by a Local Planning Authority.  It is used to regularise either a breach of planning policy or conditions and unauthorised development.

Once issued, a certificate establishes that an existing use, or activity, is lawful and that enforcement action cannot be taken.

When does it apply?

The length of a use, development or breach is the key consideration in assessing eligibility for a CLEUD.

Minimum time periods apply as follows:

  • 4 years for material change of use of a building, or part, to use as a single dwelling house.
  • 4 years for operational development (which includes the construction of new buildings)
  • 10 years for all other development, including change of use or breach of planning conditions

Unlike a planning application, obtaining a certificate depends entirely on factual evidence, with the applicant required to provide evidence to show the development complies with the minimum time periods.  The use or development cannot be deliberately concealed, or breach other legal requirements such as building regulations or the Planning of (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. 

False statements can also result in a certificate being revoked.

The importance of a CLEUD

Dealing with planning matters early on, can prevent future issues being raised during a sale process or avoid planning enforcement.

Ian Daniels, a negotitator in Butler Sherborn’s Cirencester branch, has experienced the critical role early preparation can play in ensuring a successful sale, and avoiding unnecessary delays in the sale process.

“It’s a key consideration, particularly in the current market, where purchasers are increasingly concerned that all building works or even the extension of a properties garden area etc, have planning consent or are protected from enforcement. We have had situations were minor planning breaches have significantly disturbed, and or delayed, sales with associated cost and frustrations to our clients and purchasers”

Interested in further Advice?

Butler Sherborn have experience in obtaining certificates for a variety of matters including use of paddocks and garden land, air strips and building conversions.  We therefore have the experience to provide further advice in what can be a complicated area.

Contact Jonathan Malings at Butler Sherborn to find out how we can help you.  Tel: 01285 883746 or e mail:  jonathan@butlersherborn.co.uk.


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