Confirmation of existing or established use of property

Confirmation of existing or established use of property

We regularly receive enquiries seeking confirmation of the existing or established use of property. The information required to determine this is often not held by the Local Planning Authority and as such we are usually unable to advise definitively without the submission of appropriate evidence (for a definitive decision please see the Lawful Development Certificate section below). Therefore before formally contacting us about this you may be able to satisfy yourself sufficiently by checking the planning history of the site, this should be available to view online via our planning register – Public Access

In addition, by viewing the property yourself, talking to the owner/vendor/estate agent about how the property has been used and for how long (none residential uses become established after 10 years of continuous use) and asking them to show you any documentary information they have which demonstrates how the property has been used can also be helpful in this regard. 

You should also be aware that just because a property has had a planning permission granted, it does not necessarily mean that the permission was implemented; that the property has been used in accordance with the permission; or, that it hasn't been used for a different purpose in the interim. Furthermore not all properties will have planning permission as many came into their present use before the advent of the current planning system.


Lawful Development Certificate

If you require a formal, binding decision on the lawful use of a property or the need for planning permission, it will be necessary to submit a formal application for a Certificate of Lawful Proposed or Existing Use or Development. In order to make a successful application it is necessary to submit sufficient documentary evidence and information to support your application. The Planning Portal provides further details about and guidance on the requirements for these types of applications. Applications for Lawful Proposed Use or Development and Lawful Existing Use or Development can be made via the Portal's 'make an application' service. 


Do I Need Planning Permission?

If you want to know whether planning permission is required for the proposed use of the property, we offer a Permitted Development enquiry service. This is a low cost, quick option where the Council will offer advice on the need for planning permission. You should note however, that this advice is informal and given in good faith based on the information that you provide. Details of how to submit a permitted development enquiry and a copy of the form are available by following this link