Planning Portal

Information Leaflet 6: Certificates of Lawful Use or Development

Date: November 2003
The purpose of this leaflet is to provide advice on making an application for a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development (also known as Lawful Development Certificates).
This procedure replaces the Article 41 process for determining whether proposed development requires planning permission. It also introduces a procedure whereby confirmation can be requested that existing development is lawful because it did not require planning permission or the time for enforcement action has expired.


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Please note:  The Department has introduced new legislation for taking enforcement action against breaches of planning control. Enforcement action must be taken within a 5 year time period in respect of both changes of use and operational development.
The change is one of a series of measures included within the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 to strengthen and simplify enforcement powers. This legislation is necessary to standardise and simplify the range of options. The new provisions should result in a more efficient system of control, less confusion and greater clarity in dealing with breaches of planning control.
All documentation will be amended in due course to reflect this change.
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