Christchurch Borough Council: Pure Town Planning have recently secured a certificate of lawfulness for an existing use relating to a property in Walkford, Christchurch. In this particular case, the property had some time ago been sub-divided into an retail unit (Use Class A1) and six flats without first gaining planning permission from the Christchurch Borough Council.

These applications take time to prepare to ensure that the evidence submitted is sufficient to convince the Council that, on the balance of probability, the unlawful use has continuously operated for the minimum amount of time required to become lawful under the relevant legislation.

For this particular application, which was an unlawful change of use, it was required for us to demonstrate that the use had continued for a period in excess of 10 years. This required us to provide evidence including:

  • Rent books
  • Statutory declarations from both tenants and property owners
  • Business rates for the commercial property
  • Letter from electoral services to the individual residential units.

With the application submitted, Pure Town Planning closely liaised with the Case Officer throughout the application, including a site visit to validate the evidence submitted does relate to the existing situation within the property.

The Case Officer concluded that on the balance of probability and on the basis of the evidence provided as part of the application that the use of the application site has been in continuous use for the purposes specified for a period in excess of 10 years and stated that the use of the building can now be considered to be lawful.

If you have an unauthorised use or building which you are considering to regularise why don’t you give Pure Town Planning a call on 01202 585524 for a free confidential discussion on how we can assist you.