How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

I had a certificate of lawfulness of proposed development on

Customer Question

I had a certificate of lawfulness of proposed development on a loft conversion granted by local council ,they are now trying to enforce the fact that different materials where used to clad the building .should they have asked for more information before granting the certificate ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. May I clarify did you carry out further work to the loft conversion after the CLEUD (certificate) was issued by the council please or are the council taking issue with works that were already complete at the time the certificate was issued?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No they granted the certificate of lawfulness of proposed development within 10 days of receiving the form

the works took 3 months to complete

exterior was finished in dec 14

They say a vimolaunt was made on 5th may 15 which they are acting on

they say the materials we clad loft in are not the same as on the rest of house so this means dormer is unauthorised

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the above. May I just clarify the timeline of events. You completed the works in December 2014.When did you make the application for a CLEUD?You refer to a "vimolaunt" - I am not familiar with this term. Is this a typo and meant to read "complaint"?Finally have any further works been carried out since Dec 14? Can you show that the works are unchanged by reference to plans and invoice records you have from contractors?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Complaint is what it should be

work starated in oct

the application was emailed on 7 oct and granted on 17th oct

rhe interior is still to be completed

I am doing the work as I'm a builder

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thanks so I understand correctly that the exterior issue the council refers to was complete prior to the issue of the CLEUD? Can you evidence this - e.g. photographs or invoices for materials, witness statements for example?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No they issued the certificate of lawfulness prior to finishing the work

within 10 days of start

they had black and white plans and details of work

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I'm sure you know, the effect of the certificate of lawful use or development is to certify that the work carried out up to the date of the certificate being issued is considered lawful and harmless from enforcement under planning enforcement. The certificate does not protect against any future works which are carried out. CLEUDs are normally applied for following completion of works rather than before they have been completed and I am confused as to why an application for CLEUD was suggested or accepted in these circumstanes as the correct application would have appeared to be a retrospective planning application which would take into account provisions for materials and so in the normal course of events. CLEUDs will be issued where you can show that works or use have been in existence for 4 years or more so that enforcement action is no longer possible which is not the case here from what you say. Accordingly although these certificates you have will be valid if the council have chosen to issue one in respect of the works carried out up to date of the certificate, it will not protect you in respect of any further works that were carried out after the date of the certificate and I do not consider it was the appropriate type of application to be made or granted by the council. If further works have been carried out which the Council considers require planning permission, you will need to consider an application for retrospective planning permission for those works, and where any further works are proposed to be carried out, the usual specifications and drawings would be supplied to the council in order for them to make a determination based upon those plans and drawing specifications. If the application is granted, providing the works are carried out in accordance with those plans and specifications, no enforcement action can be taken in this respect. In the circumstances, you may wish to enquire the council why an application for certificate of lawful use was suggested, if it was, and why it was granted as opposed to a retrospective planning permission. In addition, if you submitted plans and specifications to the council and carried out the work in accordance with those plans and specifications, you could make an argument that the council were well aware of the proposed works to be carried out when the granted the certificate though as above, if the certificate rather than a retrospective planning application has been granted, this argument is likely to be relatively thin. I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi we carried out the work under permitted development

we were told to apply for a certificate of lawfulness prior to starting work which I have done several times

the certificate was granted so making the dormer in the rear of the house legal

now the council are saying that the dormer is unauthorised as we had clad the dormer in a different coloured material

should they gave asked for more info prior to granting the certificate


Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
thank you. A certificate granted for proposed, works shold specify by reference to a plan or drawing or specification supplied to the council he works and precise nature of works which is lawful. The certificate must give the reason for determining the operation to be lawful and specify the date of the application for the certificate. If you supplied drawings and the specifications which included use of the material you have used, and the certificate refers to that information, then the works will be immune from enforcement. The certificate will not cover any material changes to such plans or specifications nor will it cover works which are not specifically referred to in the certificate. It is for the applicant to ensure that all specifications and drawings wished to be included in the certificate are provided to the council and referred to in the certificate I regret. Providing materials used are a similar appearance to the rest of the property, such work should fall for permitted development. if substantively different materials to the remainder of the property had been used, then this would typically for full planning permission and if this is the case, it will be necessary to show that the use of such materials was included in the application for the certificate or that the materials used are of similar appearance to the remainder of the property failing which are further retrospective planning application may be required I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.