City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council: Neil McKeon has recently secured a certificate of lawfulness for the change of use of an assisted living premises (C2 use class) and day care centre (D1 use class) to 10 residential apartments (C3 use class) in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

The three storey property was formerly used as a museum and then a cinema before securing consent for conversion to assisted living apartments in 2005. The applicant approached Pure Town Planning to secure the necessary consent for the formal change of use to 10 self-contained apartments (C3). Rather than submitting a change of use application, it was agreed to submit a certificate of lawfulness to establish that the 10 apartments had been in continual use in excess of 10 years – in line with Section 171 (B)(3) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The onus of proof to demonstrate lawfulness is on the applicant and so an extensive evidence pack was prepared including sworn statements, electoral register records, council tax and tenancy agreements dating back to 2008 and subsequently submitted to the Council. The Officer assessed the evidence and agreed that on the balance of probabilities, the change of use to C3 residential apartments had been in continued use for over 10 years and therefore lawful.

If you are looking to obtain a change of use, or establish residential use on site via a certificate of lawfulness and thereby not requiring planning permission, please contact Pure Town Planning at or call us on 01202 585524 for an appraisal.