What are Lawful Development Certificates, and do I need one?

Lawful Development Certificates (LDCs) are the assurance that the amendments or additions you are going to make in your property fall under Permitted Development Order. These amendments and additions include building a rear or dormer extension, doing a loft conversion, adding a veranda, a fence, or a parking lot etc. LDCs can also be applied for before buying any property so that you do not have to worry whether the extensions or changes done to that property is in accordance with law or not.


Lawful Development Certificates are important as they let you know the status of the work you are going to perform. In these cases, it either saves you or leads you towards planning permission applications.

You can take help from your local planning authority’s officers to help you understand Lawful Development Certificate or to apply for it.


There are two types of Lawful Development Certificates:

  1. Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use or Development (CLUED)
  2. Certificate of Lawfulness of Propose Use or Development (CLOPUD)

Both of these certificates are granted by local planning authorities. CLUED deals with the land that is already in use or is going through some operational development, or any activity that you think falls under permitted development rights. CLOPUD deals with any propose change or mode of use or any operation going to happen. It confirms if it is lawful under planning laws and building regulations.

Difference between planning permission and LDCs:

One important thing to keep in mind is that LDCs should not be confused with planning permission. Lawful Development Certificates are a sort of confirmation and have a legal order that gives you peace of mind. LDCs is not a must-have. It is just to make sure that whatever changes you are going to make are legal. It is a proof that work you have already completed or are going to do is lawful.

On the other hand, planning permission is a must-have right before you start anything that does not come under permitted development rights. As permitted development rights are quite clear, you know when you are not directly permitted to make a change.

Therefore, planning permission and LDCs are two different things.

When might you need one?

As mentioned, there can be several projects where you need to make sure you have done the right work so that you do not have to fear any warning letter from authorities. Therefore, you need to apply for Lawful Development Certificate.

If you are going to make any extension or conversion under the light of permitted development rights, reassurance is a good thing to go for. That is when getting a Lawful development Certificate is important.

Also, when you are purchasing a property, it is important to get a Lawful Development Certificate to confirm that the building did not have any unlawful work done. Otherwise, it can have major implications once it is legally yours.