Borough of Poole: Darryl Howells of Pure Town Planning has secured a Certificate of Lawfulness of a Existing Use or Development (CLEUD) to confirm that a planning permission for 2 houses was commenced prior to the expiry date of the permission, despite planning conditions being outstanding. Under Section 191 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), an applicant can apply to the Local Planning Authority for a Certificate (similar to a planning decision) that confirms that an existing use or a development is lawful for planning purposes. The judgement is based on evidence and not subjective judgement or planning policy.

In this case, the applicant sought the advice of Darryl, who has been an Enforcement Team Manager at the Borough of Poole, prior to joining Pure Town Planning. Darryl’s advice was to establish the evidence (which was actually quite limited) so that he could argue the position in planning terms.  Using his experience Darryl argued that partially digging of a foundation trench and the laying the foundations accorded with Part 4 of Section 56 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), that a material operation had occurred as the wording of the Act means “any work of construction in the course of the erection of a building” and in part (b) “the digging of a trench which is to contain the foundations, or part of the foundations, of a building”

The applicant had implemented the permission three days before the expiry of the 3 year timescale set out in a planning condition, however there were other conditions that were outstanding and according to their wording needed to be discharged prior to the commencement of development. Darryl, using current case-law on the subject, questioned whether the conditions “went to the heart of the planning permission” (i.e. were so important that they needed to discharged before development occurred). The Borough of Poole accepted his argument without question.

If you have commenced development but have conditions outstanding, then your proposal is not necessarily unauthorised or could be the subject of enforcement action.  If you find yourself in this position, then please give Pure Town Planning a call on 01202 585524 or email at for advice.