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Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2069
Experience:  Expert
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I bought a field adjacent to my home in Oct 2008 (registered

Customer Question

i bought a field adjacent to my home in Oct 2008 (registered at HMLR Jan 2009). I have mowed it and effectively used it as a garden for last 12+ years with no objection or enforcement by Local Authority. I now want a Cert of Lawfulness (or is it a Lawful development certificate?) to designate it as a garden. My Local Authority will ask why a Cert should be granted, presumably on on what legal grounds (T&C Planning Act 1990?). Do I quote from the act or can I just say "because i want to put sheds up and other garden type things" - or do I say, "I've had the land for more than 10 years - so give me a certificate"?
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  MARTINT330 replied 14 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** hope you are well today. I am a qualified Solicitor, and I will be able to help you by providing you with an answer to your question today. I specialise in UK and Irish Law. I am not always online but rest assured if I do not respond immediately I will respond when I return.

Expert:  MARTINT330 replied 14 days ago.

Is there anything else you feel is relevant to your question or anything else you would like to add before we continue?

Expert:  MARTINT330 replied 14 days ago.

You must explain in your own words why you consider a Certificate of Lawfulness should be granted. The applicant must provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the planning authority that a Certificate must be issued. The evidence submitted should therefore be clear and convincing.

The onus is on the applicant to provide enough evidence to satisfy the planning authority that planning permission is not needed for the proposals. Mere assertion on these points is not sufficient. If the planning authority has evidence, or reasonable grounds to believe that an assertion by the applicant is not correct, it may refuse a Certificate.

Expert:  MARTINT330 replied 14 days ago.

In your case, you can use the "10-year rule" This applies to a change of use to a land that must have existed in excess of 10 years before it can be protected from enforcement action. Therefore you may have perfectly adequate land but no lawful use for it. Your LPA's planning officers can also help. They will tell you about the sort of information needed to support your application.

Expert:  MARTINT330 replied 14 days ago.

Is there anything else I can help with today?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
No, not really. I am trying to get the best answer for the question on the form from my Local Authority that says "State why you consider a Lawful development certificate should be granted"? Clearly I cant say "Because it will enable me to do more on the land and maybe make the property worth more", so I need the best legal answer be it re the 10 year rule (if there is one) and/or some extract from the T & C Act 1990 or something else.
Expert:  MARTINT330 replied 14 days ago.

You must specify in reasonably precise terms what the use, operational development, or other activity is, or is proposed to be. The authority need not consider any proposal which does not include specific details of what it involves. Nor need they answer general questions on what could be undertaken on the land or what is lawful. The planning merits of the use, operation, or activity are not relevant. The issue of a certificate depends entirely on factual evidence about the history and planning status of other land and the interpretation of any relevant Planning law or judicial authority. 

Expert:  MARTINT330 replied 14 days ago.

Do you have LPA? They can help you with the information/reason you need to provide. If you don't, you can have it reviewed by a solicitor near your area, who will be able to assist you further in this regard. To find a local solicitor, you can visit the website: You can use their search function to find one near your locality.

Expert:  MARTINT330 replied 12 days ago.

Thank you for your question on JustAnswer. I am always available to help and please do let me know if you have any other questions I can answer for you.