These areas conjoin Planning Law and Planning Policy.  If an enforcement is served by the Local Planning Authority with regard to development that they suggest is unauthorised, there is a strict time period to make an appeal against that Enforcement Notice. There are a variety of grounds and expert advice is needed in compiling the Enforcement Notice appeal form.

If an appeal is successful, planning permission is granted for the use, activity or operation that is the subject of the Enforcement Notice. Nevertheless, there is a small sting in the tail whereby a planning fee must be paid to the Local Planning Authority for that use, whether lawful or not, and a planning fee is also payable to the Inspectorate for the determination of any Enforcement Notice appeal. There is no charging with regard to appeals generally at present, nevertheless this is being considered by Central Government.

If an Enforcement Notice alleges a use which could well be lawful, i.e. non-compliance with a holiday let condition for a period of say over ten years, a Certificate of Lawful Use and Development can be obtained from the Local Planning Authority. This again is a legal process whereby the burden of proof is “the balance of probabilities”.

If you are unsure and want to use a building or land for a particular purpose or use, there is also the opportunity to make an application for a Certificate of proposed Lawful Use and Development which will be dealt with prior to you embarking upon your requirements.

Again, the procedure is legal as distinct from that experienced in the making and broking of planning applications. Evidence is often tested on oath by way of Statutory Declarations or indeed during appeal processes.

Third Party evidence, i.e. neighbours, the postman, Statutory Undertakers, etc., are invaluable supporters of any application with regard to enforcement and lawfulness and the ramifications therefrom.

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