There have been reports in the press that the Prime Minister’s Chief Adviser, Dominic Cummings, has pledged to overhaul the nation’s ‘appalling’ planning system. Well, the man might lack a lot of things but he certainly doesn’t lack chutzpah. And, ….we are saying this very quietly…., the system could do with looking at. Even planning inspectors recognize it; note the inspector’s remark in the following paragraph, taken from a recent appeal against the refusal of a certificate of lawfulness for a summerhouse at a house in Dorset (DCS Number 400-026-441).
“In this case, the object of applying for an LDC was to pose the question ‘is my proposal permitted development or not’. That was the only purpose of the LDC application and appeal. If the answer is ‘no’ there is no leeway for the Council or for me to decide the proposal is harmless and so should be allowed anyway, that would simply be unlawful. This may seem unnecessarily bureaucratic but it is the way the planning system has been set up.”
Add that to the To Do list, Dominic.
Section 4.301 of DCP Online addresses the subject of lawful use or development certificates.