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Appeal Decision 140 - Certificate of Lawful Development.

This appeal decision summary and assessment has been produced by Planning Jungle Limited.  For more information, please go to


September 2010 - Code a00140


Summary of Case (appeal allowed): 


The property is a three-storey mid-terrace house. The submitted application form for this certificate of lawfulness gave the following “Description of Proposal”: 


“Replacement of windows to rear elevation of annex including formation of new windows”. 


The differences between the submitted “Section DD – existing” and “Section DD – proposed” were as follows: 


·         Installation of sliding windows (with handrails) on the rear elevation at ground, first, and second floor levels. 

·         Erection of a single storey side extension, with the annotation “Side extension as approval 2008/01177/FUL”. 

·         Excavation of a basement extension, with the annotation “Basement extension as approval 2008/01177/FUL and subject to further recently submitted planning application”. 


The key issue was whether a certificate of lawfulness could be issued for the proposed new windows on the basis of the above drawings. The Council stated that they requested the re-submission of an amended drawing without the basement. 


The Inspector stated the following (see Costs Decision): 


“In the Council’s e-mail of 25 September 2009 it was stated that the application for the certificate of lawfulness included the proposed drawings contained in the planning application and could not be determined until the planning application had been determined. By a subsequent letter dated 9 November 2009, the appellant sought an explanation of why the certificate of lawfulness could not be signed off as it was not related to the planning application for the basement. There is no evidence of any response to this letter by the Council. 


In their formal response to the costs application the Council advise that they do not dispute that the development for which the certificate was sought was lawful. They state that they had simply not determined the application because of an ‘inaccuracy’ on the drawings submitted. However, the matter of concern about the drawings related to the basement, which, as the Council accept, was not the subject of the application. 


Despite the Council’s expressed concern about misinterpretation if the drawings submitted with the application were approved and read separately from the certificate, it is clear from the annotation on the drawings that the matters to which they relate concern ‘permitted development’. Any stamp of approval could be expected to carry a Council reference number relating to the application for the certificate of lawfulness. This would make it clear, in the unlikely scenario that the drawings were read separately, that they related to the certificate. In any event, an approved plan, without an accompanying planning permission or certificate, would not, of itself, provide the necessary evidence that planning permission existed or that lawful development had been established. 


Taking the above matters together, I conclude that there were no substantive reasons to justify delaying the issue of the certificate.” 


Main Conclusions: 


·       Where a submitted application form states that certain works are being applied for, and the proposed drawings show additional works with annotations indicating that they are not part of the application, then the application should be determined without being affected by the additional works.
[Relevant to: “General”].


Links to the “Appeal Decision Notice” and other associated documents (e.g. drawings, etc): 


·       Appeal Decision Notice: 

·       Application Form: 

·       Existing Section: 

·       Proposed Section: 

·       Costs Decision Notice: 





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