If you have a property that has been used for a long time but does not have either planning permission for this use, or a Lawful Development Certificate, you may wish to consider submitting an application to the Planning Department for a Lawful Development Certificate for the Existing Use. Your application should include evidence of continuous occupation for 10 years and could include:
- Tenancy agreements
- Deposit protection certificates
- Utility bills
- Council Tax records
- Licensing information
- Electoral roll information
And/or a sworn affidavit confirming the building’s previous use.
The submission of receipts for works undertaken to the property and/or adverts relating to vacancies are unlikely to provide sufficient evidence of use. Please note that applications for ‘Lawful Development’ will be determined using the evidence submitted, and may be refused where there are clear gaps within the 10 year period. It is unlikely that the council will seek further clarification to your application and so it needs to be complete on submission.