Owners and occupiers of land (and buildings) generally need planning permission to make the use lawful. If, however, a use has been carried on without a break for over ten years it no longer needs planning permission and is lawful. In order to protect the landowner (and the occupier) against enforcement action by the Council it is advisable to regularise the use by applying for a lawful development certificate (sometimes known as a CLEUD). A similar situation arises where building or engineering operations have taken place (or where the use is as a single dwelling-house) but in those cases the relevant period is only four years, not ten.
Our team advises businesses, individuals and local planning authorities on this highly technical area. Applications for LDCs are decided on the basis of evidence. That evidence is generally assessed by the Council’s planning and legal departments.
If you think you are entitled to a LDC (or if the Council is taking enforcement action against you) you need to take specialist legal advice from someone well-versed in this highly technical area; someone who is used to dealing with local Councils and understands the requirements.
If you are a local authority with a difficult case and not enough time and resources in-house to deal with it, we can also help.
Members of our team have, between them, acted for several Councils in Suffolk, Essex and also in London.
"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."
"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"
"I have used Tracey Laflin at Gotelee on a number of occasions and in my opinion, she is simply the most efficient conveyancing solicitor I have ever worked with. From the outset, she took the time to understand my specific business requirements and to date, she has exceeded all of my expectations."
- Dale Fiddy - Portobello Developments Ltd
"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"
"Jade Shelton was absolutely fantastic!! Professional and proactive at all times."
"This is by far the go-to firm for any issues. You are made to feel valued from the outset and they are so confident in what they do. Wouldn't recommend any other. Thank you Hugh and Max."
- Ros Jones
"Domini was very fast and efficient in carrying out her work for me - she was also very good at explaining things to me"
"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"
"The ease that we could access and speak to Pat Smith - Thank you"
"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."