Planning Enforcement - Lawful Development

Sometimes, planning permission is not obtained but the development or activity has been going on for so long that enforcement action cannot be taken.

Planning law says that if it can be proven that the development or use has been going on uninterrupted for a specified number of years without the benefit of planning permission, it could be considered lawful.

In such situations, there’s the opportunity to apply to the Borough Council to get the situation regularised. For instance, when selling land or property, the owner sometimes wants the comfort of having the matter officially confirmed. This is called a ‘lawful development certificate’.

Advice can be given on whether this situation applies by contacting the planning department on 01785 619337 or emailing

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