A Certificate of Proposed Lawful Use or Development is a certificate issued by the Council confirming that what you propose to do does not require an application for planning permission.
Usually these Certificates are granted as confirmation that your proposal is “permitted development”, but where it is arguable whether your proposal is “development” at all, or whether it already benefits from an existing planning permission, such a Certificate can be useful as it will remove any doubt.
As well as giving you the peace of mind that you are not going to subsequently face enforcement action, it will also give subsequent purchasers of the property confidence that your development was lawful.
Even if you don’t actually carry out the development, merely having confirmation that it can lawfully be done will add value to the property.
If the development has already taken place you should consider making an application for a Certificate of Existing Lawful Use or Development.
If you are considering buying a property and have certain plans for it in mind, you may wish to consider making an application for a Certificate of Proposed Lawful Use or Development yourself before proceeding. If you ask the vendor to obtain such a Certificate you may find that the value, and therefore price, of the property increases!
If your application is refused it can be subject to appeal.