Practical Guide to Certificate of Lawful Proposed Use or Development (CLPUD)

What is a Certificate of Lawfulness relating to Proposed Use or Works?

A Certificate of Lawful Proposed Use or Development (CLPUD also known as a CLOPUD) allows you to obtain a decision from the Local Planning Authority that a proposed use or works does not require planning permission and is lawful under section 192 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

This type of application is normally made in one of the following circumstances:

  • The applicant believes that planning permission is not required for their proposal but requires formal confirmation;
  • The applicant is uncertain whether the proposal requires planning permission; or
  • disagrees with a planning officer’s informal view that permission is needed; and
  • requires a formal resolution of the matter with the opportunity to appeal if necessary.

Why would I need a Certificate of Lawfulness?

An application for a Certificate of Lawfulness should be made to establish conclusively that a proposed use of land, or some operational development is lawful.  And will not run the risk of future enforcement action by the local planning authority.  Having a CLPUD is of benefit if you wish to sell a property or piece of land in the future to prove your use or works are lawful.

Or if you’re in the process of selling land/buildings it is a useful way of ascertaining whether the intended use of land by a future purchaser, would be lawful.  Or, for establishing if certain operations could be carried out lawfully on the land, without the need for a further application for planning permission.

Once a certificate is granted the lawfulness of that use or operation is conclusively presumed, provided, in the case of a proposed development, that nothing material has changed that could affect lawfulness before development begins.

What do I need to submit for a Certificate of Lawfulness?

In general the following information is required to be submitted to establish a proposed use or development:

  1. Completed application form, go to the Planning Portal.
  2. Fee – Half the normal fee if you were applying for planning permission is payable to the relevant Local Planning Authority for a CLPUD.
  3. Site location plan
  4. Other supporting evidence for instance proposed block plan, existing and proposed floor plans and elevations.

It is useful for details of why a proposed development is considered to be ‘permitted development’ under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended).

Before submitting an application, please check whether your proposal falls within the permitted development criteria by visiting The Planning Portal.

 What’s the Process for a Certificate of Lawful Development?

A Local Planning Authority (LPA) will check whether the proposed development meets criteria for permitted development rights or that a material change of use has not occurred.  The LPA will then issue a legal certificate to say that your proposal does not require planning permission, which you are advised to secure before starting any work.

An LPA has 8 weeks to determine a valid certificate of lawfulness application,  To secure the certificate as quickly as possible, you will need to ensure that all the plans, documents and the fee are correct.

What’s the Difference between a CLEUD and CLPUD?

A Certificate of Existing Use or Development (CLEUD) in general seek to establish that a development carried out without the relevant planning permission is lawful by virtue of the time which has elapsed.  The same fee as if you were applying for planning permission is payable to the relevant Local Planning Authority for a CLEUD.

A Certificate of Proposed Use or Development (CLPUD) in general seeks to establish that development or use does not require planning permission and can be carried out.  A CLPUD is not a planning permission.

Can I Build once I have a Certificate of Lawfulness?

The grant of a certificate of lawfulness applies only to the development in accordance with planning legislation.  It does not remove the need to comply with any other legal requirements such as the Building Regulations 2010, or the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (as amended) or other licensing or permitting schemes.

Is there a Right of Appeal?                                                                                            

If an application for a Lawful Development Certificate is:

  • wholly or partly refused;
  • granted in a different form from the application;
  • or is deemed to have been refused where the LPA has not determined the application within the time-limit the applicant has a right of appeal.

For certificate of lawfulness appeals, there is currently no time limit within which an appeal must be received. However, the Planning Inspectorate would expect to receive an appeal within 6 months.  If the certificate of lawfulness relates to a Listed Building the appeal must be lodged within 6 months.

Related Content

For simple proposals you’re unlikley to need a Town Planning Consultant, however if this all seems confusing CONTACT US for a chat about what your aspirations are and to see if we can help you through the process.

We’ve also published a Practical Guide for Certificate of Lawful Development covering the basics of CLEUD for when you find yourself in a position when a development has already been carried out without the relevant planning permission.  We’ve also produced other content linked to this topic:

We have much more information for you in our series of eBooks and Practical Guides which cover everything from the very basics of town planning to application processes and what developers need to consider.