CLUED is an abbreviation usually used by Local Authorities to describe a Certificate of Lawful Development For Existing Use or Development.

 A Lawful Development Certificate can be issued by a Local Authority to confirm whether an existing use of land or building, or building works previously undertaken on a site are lawful.  They are particularly useful where it is necessary to determine whether an existing use is lawful and immune from enforcement action by the Local Authority, or to established what the lawful use is ahead of future development proposals.  A typical example might be a prospective purchaser wanting confirmation that a use of a building or previous building works on a site are now lawful.

The process involves the submission of a Lawful Development Certificate application to the Local Authority setting out why the existing use or development is considered to be lawful at the date of the application.  The Local Authority will consider the submission and determine whether the Certificate should be granted or not, having regard only to matters of law.  The onus of proof in such applications rests with the applicant, with the Local Authority required to consider, on the balance of probability, whether the evidence shows that a use or development is lawful or not.

If the existing use or development is considered to be lawful then a Lawful Development Certificate will be awarded.   If by contrast the Local Authority considers that the development is not lawful then they will refuse the Lawful Development Certificate application.  If your Certificate is refused an appeal can be lodged with the Planning Inspectorate for an independent judgement on the matter.  You can learn more about the Planning Appeal process here.

HC Services can provide you with the professional advice and support to optimise the prospects of your Lawful Development Certificate being approved.  If you’d like to discuss further then get in touch – we’d love to help.