Lawful development certificates
Lawful development certificates

The following Local Government guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Lawful development certificates
  • What is a lawful development certificate?
  • Distinction between existing and proposed use or operations—CLOPUDs and CLEUDs
  • Guidance
  • When to apply for an LDC
  • Effect and extent of validity of an LDC
  • Meaning of 'lawfulness'
  • Enforcement action
  • Application procedure
  • Decision-making process
  • more

What is a lawful development certificate?

A lawful development certificate (LDC) is a certificate issued by a local planning authority (LPA) under either section 191 or 192 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) certifying either that:

  1. an existing use of buildings or land, or some operational development, or any other matter constituting a breach of a planning permission, is lawful, or

  2. a proposed use of buildings or other land, or some operations proposed to be carried out in, on, over or under land, would be lawful

LDCs issued under TCPA 1990, s 191 are commonly referred to as certificates of lawfulness of existing use or development (CLEUDs), while LDCs under TCPA 1990, s 192 are commonly referred to as certificates of lawfulness of proposed use or development (CLOPUDs).

The LDC specifies a particular area of land, by reference to a plan or drawing, and confirms that the specified use or operations have been or can be carried on lawfully at the date of the application for the certificate. It is conclusive evidence as to the lawfulness of the matters certified at the date of the LDC.

Distinction between existing and proposed use or operations—CLOPUDs and CLEUDs

TCPA 1990, ss 191 and 192 set out distinct circumstances in which an LDC can be granted:

  1. TCPA 1990, s