Lawful Use Certificates Explained…
Anyone who’s ever enhanced their business with an extension or added an extra income stream courtesy of a change of use knows that to do so within the law, you need to apply for, and achieve, planning permission.
But because planning can be a lengthy process and some businesses are unfamiliar with the process, many properties are enhanced and extended without the necessary authorization, which leaves them vulnerable to being ordered to tear them down.
Our team of planners at Malcolm Scott Consultants are experts in obtaining Lawful Use Certificates (LUC); a means of establishing whether a change of use or building operation undertaken out without planning permission is now lawful as a result of the passage of time.
Tracy Hubbard, of MSC, explains: “If 10 years has elapsed since a a change of use or breach of condition, or if four years have passed since an operational development, then as a rule, the development is immune from enforcement action in the future, and an LUC is official confirmation of that.
“Most often, clients seek to obtain Lawful Use Certificates because they face being enforced against by the Council, or to enhance site value: either to secure additional funding; to entice concessions; or to add value prior to sale of the property.”
MSC has recently obtained Lawful Use Certificates for Garden Centre Use at Craft Nurseries, near Ipswich meaning that 10,465m² can be used for Garden Centre use falling within Class A1 and for Class A1 retail use of approximately 4,900m² of New Leaf Nurseries, near Sheffield.
Malcolm Scott Consultants is a Harris Lamb company. The planning teams at Harris Lamb or MSC can be contacted for advice and support on any planning issues.