Dirty trick No. 1:- The Public Access System.
In the early days of Certificates of Lawful Development I was told by various
planners that this process was completely private and confidential between the applicant and the council wit no
external third party consultations. I believe that this should still be the process to this day. The PD proposal is
either legal or it is not - what extra rights does informing the neighbours have?
Most Councils (not all) will treat a C of LD exactly as they would do for a formal Planning application. I have
given various excuses for this such as ‘its simply to slot it into our standard admin. and processing
systems’ or ‘we need to have external opinions just in case the applicant is lying as we have a duty to
establish the facts’. This is a complete falsehood in my opinion and I suspect that some form of data
protection or human rights act is being broken somewhere down the line and I would love to know of some other
applicants views or experiences on this issue.
Suggestion:- Ensure that you have a covering letter with your C of LD application formally requesting
that the application is kept out of the public consultation process and that this is your legal right under the
data protection act and the human rights act. There is no legal requirement upon the Council to externally consult
for certificate of lawful development application.