Q&As

If planning permission has been lawfully implemented (but the building is not substantially complete and only limited material works have been carried out), could the existing use of the building be considered the use authorised under the planning permission (despite this use not actually being in operation)?

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Published on LexisPSL on 23/05/2018

The following Planning Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If planning permission has been lawfully implemented (but the building is not substantially complete and only limited material works have been carried out), could the existing use of the building be considered the use authorised under the planning permission (despite this use not actually being in operation)?

Planning law distinguishes between the existing and the lawful use of land or buildings. For example, in the context of certificates of lawfulness of existing use or development, existing uses can be certified as lawful where it has been demonstrated that no enforcement action may then be taken in respect of them and that they do not constitute a contravention of any of the requirements of any enforcement notice.

The existing use of land or buildings is a matter of fact, reflecting the actual state of affairs on the land or of the buildings at a particular time. In the circumstances described, assuming

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