All too often it is easy over time to make alterations to a property, or via natural evolution, the change of use of land or buildings takes place to suit your business or personal requirements. In many circumstances, material amendments or changes of uses will require formal planning consent from your Local Planning Authority (LPA). In some cases, this can be obtained retrospectively.

There are instances where it is more appropriate to regularise the changes via what is known as a ‘Certificate of Lawful Existing Use or Development’ (CLEUD), than to apply for a retrospective planning application.

Head of Planning Services for Powells, Associate Director Stuart Leaver, comments “There are instances where planning breaches have happened by natural evolution over a significant number of years, which can result in the Local Planning Authority no longer being able to take enforcement action, if a sufficient periods of time have been exceeded and strong evidence can be demonstrated. It is important where landowners have identified planning breaches to seek professional advice”.

Powells Planning team can provide such professional advice as to whether it would be possible to formalise any planning breaches. If an Enforcement Notice is served by the Local Authority then this can prevent the regularisation of any planning breaches, hence it is usually important to apply and secure the regularisation of planning breaches before the issue is identified by the LPA.

To formally secure a CLEUD is a specialist complex and detailed process, but one which can avoid difficult enforcement issues and also in some cases add significant value to your property assets if a CLEUD can be secured.

Powells as a planning consultants and rural development specialists are well versed in advising clients on a wide range of planning issues, whether this be CLEUD applications, strategic land promotion advice, residential development advice, barn conversions as well as rural enterprise and diversification planning applications.

Land and Planning Technician at Powells, Emily Hammick, comments “We as a firm spend a significant amount of time assisting clients on formalising planning breaches that are the result of long-term natural evolution of land use or development. This includes breaches of agricultural occupancy conditions, planning conditions, unauthorised buildings (operational development), use of structures and mobile homes as dwelling houses without planning consent or for example use of agricultural buildings for commercial purposes. By formalising the breach of planning where the breach has subsisted for the necessary periods of time to provide for it to be regularised, it can give peace of mind and add significant value to the property”.

Stuart Leaver also adds that “Any landowners preparing to sell a property, or land, or regularise planning matters to secure asset value to their property where they have known planning breaches which have not been regularised, I would encourage them give our professional planning team a call at Powells for a fully confidential and no-obligation discussion.” 

In addition to CLEUD applications, the Powells Planning team undertake a wide range of rural planning & development services, including offering land promotion services to assist landowners with funding planning applications for development. For the full suite of Powells range of Planning, Development & Land Promotion Services, please visit our website link

If you would like to confidentially discuss any potential planning, enforcement or development projects please do contact Stuart Leaver or Emily Hammick on 01600 714140 or email [email protected]