Apply for permission

Certificate of Lawfulness of proposed use of development

A certificate of lawfulness (proposed use) is essentially a way of getting a decision from the planning authority about whether a proposed use or proposed building work needs planning permission. You should apply for a certificate of lawfulness if you want a definitive decision that a proposed use of land or a development is lawful and does not need planning permission or that if you go ahead with a proposed use of land or a development, you will not run the risk of future enforcement action by the planning authority.

If the proposal is to use a dwellinghouse for secondary letting in a Short Term Let Control Area, there would be no point applying for a Certificate of Lawfulness for the proposed use as its location in a Control Area automatically deems the use to be development. In these circumstances planning permission should sought for a material change of use.

Submit an application via

Information to be provided with your application – extract from ePlanning guidance

  • You must provide a location plan to identify clearly the site the application relates to. This should be at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500 (or larger) and should show the position of the site in relation to at least two named roads and surrounding buildings. It must have a north point. The site must be edged clearly with a red line.
  • You must state the existing use and specify the class of use of the land on the date of your application (if the land is not in use on the date of your application, you must say what it was last used for) and the use class you feel applies to the proposed use, or describe the proposed work or activities you want a certificate for.
  • You must provide evidence to confirm the information included in your application such as supporting information which you consider relevant to your application, for example, plans and drawings.
  • You must also provide a statement setting out your interest in the land and the name and address of any other person who has an interest in the land (you must say whether you have told this person about your application).
  • If your application specifies two or more uses, types of work or other matters, the plan you provide with your application should show which part of the land each use, work or matter relates to.
  • You must pay any fee which is due under the Fee Regulations