Veale Wasbrough Vizards

UK 200 2013 position: 98

Certificates of lawful use — a reminder for councils

By Polly Reynolds

If an individual carries out building operations or a material change of use without planning permission, the local authority may serve an enforcement notice.

Even so, section 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA) provides time limits within which enforcement action must be taken. After this period, a breach of planning control will become immune to enforcement action. In the case of a change of use, the time limit for enforcement is 10 years.

When a time limit for enforcement action has expired, an individual may apply to the local planning authority for the grant of a Certificate of Lawfulness of the Existing Use or Development (CLEUD). In the recent case of R v Wiltshire Council [2014] EWHC 211 (Admin), this process was under scrutiny…

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