How to prepare a valid planning application

Lawful Development Certificate applications

Lawful Development Certificate applications are used to confirm that:

Our new online application portal for Lawful Development Certificates is live. Find out more about how to apply using this service

Please read this page carefully so that you understand which forms, drawings and other documents are expected to support a Lawful Development Certificate application.

There is no standard validation checklist for Lawful Development Certificate applications. You're responsible for making sure you provide enough information to support your application.

For all applications, you must submit:

  • an application form
  • location plan
  • the fee

If you're making any physical changes to the building you should also submit:

  • a site plan
  • floor and roof plans
  • elevations and sections

Existing uses or development

Provide evidence to confirm when the works were completed. This evidence can include:

  • Building Control Final Inspection Certificate
  • copies of rent or account documents
  • council tax, valuation tax letter, or statements specifically addressed to the flat number or floor or clearly identifying the unit in question
  • photographs 
  • Google Street View screenshots
  • invoices from construction work 

In some cases, we might accept letters or unsworn statements, for example where there is extra evidence to back up the statement. We might accept letters if they are used to support a sworn statement. Statements from owners or applicants which give important evidence should always be sworn in the proper form and be original documents.

The evidence you need to submit will depend on what you are applying for. Remember that it's your responsibility to convince the council that a certificate should be issued. The evidence should be clear and convincing, and you should submit at least two different types of evidence. 

Proposed uses or development

You must submit the same forms and drawings that would support a full planning application for the development type. 

Proposed changes of use

If you're making an application for a change of use within the same use class, you must submit a cover letter. The cover letter should confirm:

  • the existing use
  • the proposed use
  • any changes taking place to the outside of the building

Proposed changes to a house

If you are making an application for works to your house, you should make sure you include the other details below.

Extensions and outbuildings
  • at least one plan must include the entire curtilage of the property. You must provide details of the area of the curtilage, and the area of the extension or outbuilding, in square metres
  • if side facing windows are proposed, the plans must show whether these can be opened and if they are obscure glazed
  • label the existing and proposed building materials
Alterations to the roof including extensions, dormer windows, and roof lights
  • include full calculations of the existing and proposed cubic content of the roof space
  • if you're proposing to install roof lights, mark how far they will project from the roof slope on the drawings 
  • if you're proposing dormer windows, mark the distance between the eaves of the original roof and the bottom of the dormer window on the drawings
  • label the existing and proposed building materials on the drawings
Front garden hardstanding
  • if your proposal involves laying hard standing, you must confirm the proposed materials are semi-permeable

Listed buildings

You must provide a detailed schedule of the proposed works and a statement setting out why they would not affect the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building and therefore do not require Listed Building Consent. You should provide details of the listed building including the published Listing Description.

Page last updated: 13 September 2022

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