A lawful development certificate (LDC) is a statutory document confirming that the use, operation or activity named in it a lawful for planning control purposes.
Once granted, the certificate will remain valid for the use or development described in it, on the land it describes.
You must apply to the local planning authority (LPA) for such a certificate. If the LPA refuse the application (or do not give a decision within the time period - usually 8 weeks) you can appeal.
If an application for an LDC is wholly or partly refused, or is granted in a different form from the application, or is deemed to have been refused (because the LPA) has not determined the application within the time-limit of eight weeks of receiving the completed application), you can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate for appeals in England and Wales, or to the Planning Appeals Commission if you are in Northern Ireland. The Planning Inspectorate will deny LDC appeals if an effective Enforcement Notice is in force. This is because if such a notice is in force, the legislation does not allow an LDC to be granted.
For more information, see our '' section.
The Planning Inspectorate or Planning Appeals Commission will make an early assessment of the validity of your LDC appeal.
When the Planning Inspectorate or Planning Appeals Commission has examined your appeal form and documents, you will be told whether the appeal is valid and what procedure it will go by.
You may request the written procedure, a hearing or an inquiry.
The Inspectorate or PAC will consider whether a local inquiry is necessary. For example, in appeals where the development or use has already taken place, an inquiry will usually be necessary where there is a dispute between you and the LPA on the facts of the case.
An inquiry will also be necessary where either you or the LPA have requested one. Requests for a hearing will be considered wherever possible.
In England and Wales, you can submit your appeal online using the. This service that gives people wider and easier access to the planning system. It allows you to track the progress of your case. Planning appeals must be submitted in writing in Northern Ireland.
For more information and links to the Northern Irish appeal forms, see our section ''.