Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) & Lawful Development Certificate (England)

What is a Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) or a Lawful Development Certificate (England)?

A certificate of lawfulness (Scotland) or lawful development certificate (England) is confirmation from your local planning department that your project falls within permitted development rights. Does not require planning permission.

It can also be used where planning permission was not originally applied for.

Why should I get a Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) or Lawful development Certificate (England)?

Do I Need Permission recommended you get a Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) or Lawful Development Certificate (England) as it proves you did not require planning permission for alterations you have made. You may be required to prove alterations you have made to you home have planning permission or did not require planning permission should you come to sell your home. A Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) or Lawful Development Certificate (England) proves you did not require planning permission

A Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) or Lawful Development Certificate (England) can also be applied for where works have been carried out where planning permission was required.

In cases where work has been carried out the planning department have a time period where they can take action against unlawful works, this can include removal. These time limits are.

  • 4 years for the carrying out without planning permission of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land. This development becomes immune from enforcement action four years after the operations are substantially completed.

  • 4 years for the change of use of a building, or part of a building, to use as a single dwelling-house. This use becomes immune from enforcement action once the unauthorised use has continued for four years without any enforcement action being taken.

  • 10 years for all other matters. The ten year period runs from the date the breach of planning control was committed.

Once these time limits have expired the development becomes lawful for planning purposes.

How do I get a Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) or Lawful Development Certificate (England)?

A certificate of lawfulness can be obtained from your local planning department you will need to make an application. You may require to provide drawings of the works that have taken place.

How much does a Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) or Lawful Development Certificate (England) cost?

A Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) costs £202 (from 1st November 2014) this fee is payable to your local planning department.

A Lawful Development Certificate (England) costs,

  • Existing use (where works have already been carried out)  – Same cost as a full application.
  • Proposed use (where works have not yet started) – Half the normally planning fee for type of application.

The fee for drawings varies you should consult with you local architectural service provider.

What is required for a Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) or Lawful Development Certificate (England)?

To obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness (Scotland) or Lawful Development Certificate (England) you will be required to supply the planning department with proposed plans, location plan and description additional information may be required depending on your particular project.

Where you are applying for works that have already taken place you may need to provide details such as when the alterations took place, how long it has been used for etc…

Contact your local Architectural Professional or Planning department if you are unsure.