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A Brief Guide to Lawful Development Certificates

14th March 2014

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Throughout the year, it’s good to turn your mind to any improvements you might want to make to your lifestyle in relation to the way you merge outdoor and indoor living. To this end, there is a range of actions you might be considering. These could include the adding (or extending) of a conservatory or orangery or the addition of an outdoor feature such as a pergola or stylish veranda.

No matter your choice, one consideration that will likely be close to the front of your mind is whether any such project is a lawfully permitted development – or whether you may even need planning permission. In many cases, it’s actually a reasonably simple decision. However, there will be occasions when you might not be sure of the status of the work you are considering, or whether it passes the permitted development tests.

There are two distinct styles of Lawful Development Certificate, Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use or Development (“CLUEDs”) and Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Use or Development (“CLOPUD”). Determining the right certificate will help you to get off on the right foot, which in turn, will help the process along. Whether you have an existing property or looking for a completely new build, your Lawful Development Certificate will differ.

The Benefits of Obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate

In some cases, a simple alteration to your plans is all that’s needed. However, there is an obvious way to ensure your peace of mind before commencing any such projects. You can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (the process is simple and can be completed online at the government’s planning portal). This isn’t full planning permission but is proof that the completed work is lawful. This is also useful to obtain if you may be selling your property at some future date; it’s a simple answer to any questions from possible buyers.

Lawful Development Certificates are not compulsory but are a terrific way to be able to provide confirmation that the use, operation or activity it details is lawful for planning control purposes. If you decide to apply, there is a fee payable, and you will need to provide enough information for your council to reach a decision. It is usually a good idea to ask for any help you need from your local authority’s planning officers. If, after application, your proposal is either refused or amended in some way (or you have not gained a decision within eight weeks) you can then appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.


Lawful Development Certificates and Planning Permission

In simple terms, planning permission is essentially asking if you can do a certain piece of building work, which is a decision usually appointed to your local council. If you have any queries, the best thing for you to do is to contact your local planning authority who will be on hand to help your request as needed. An important thing to note is that obtaining planning permission is your responsibility, and it should be obtained before any work begins. Should you fail to do so, you could find yourself facing legal action. Make sure you seek planning permission to avoid any nasty surprises later on down the line.

When it comes to a Lawful Development Certificate, the issues involved with them are often complex. When you choose to apply for a certificate, you could find it beneficial to obtain professional help. A good place for you to start is your Local Planning Authorities planning officer, who will be able to provide the information you will need in order to support your Lawful Development certificate application. This way, you are doing all you can to ensure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible. This will also allow you to enjoy your new home improvements sooner, simpler and with peace of mind.


A Final Thought on Lawful Development Certificates

If you have read this far and the word “hassle” has come to mind, it’s really not that much of an effort to provide yourself with this valuable peace of mind before you get down to the serious business of enjoying your new pergola, conservatory or extension. Don’t let anything get in the way of enhancing your home the proper way.

We offer a comprehensive selection of products that could result in planning permission being needed. By following the proper steps, you won’t have to worry about missing out on the quality on offer. This includes our range of leading extensions, offering a place to relax and rejuvenate no matter the weather or season.

Once you have finalised your planning permission requirements, find your nearest Approved Ultra Installer to enjoy a home improvement solution that excels in all areas. All of our Ultraframe specialists are vetted and approved for their standards of professionalism, reliability, promptness, efficiency and reliability. 

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