Lawful development certificate granted for a school sports pitch in London

Certificate of Lawfulness for existing use in London

Plainview Planning recently secured a Certificate of Lawfulness (CoL) to confirm the provision of six existing floodlights serving a sports pitch for over 10 years, at a school in London. 

Our client instructed us after learning that the necessary conditions for the floodlights had never been discharged. Following our engagement and negotiations with Haringey Council, it was identified and agreed that the lights had been in situ for more than 10 years and were immune from enforcement action. However, for the avoidance of doubt, the LPA requested that a lawful development certificate should be submitted. 

Certificate of lawfulness for an existing use or development (CLEUD)

A certificate of lawfulness for an existing use or development (CLEUD) is commonly used to demonstrate that a use or development has been in existence for a certain length of time and is therefore lawful. The guidance states that ‘the burden of proof is on the appellant’. The importance of presenting a strong evidence base to prove continuity and an associated evidence commentary to support this is key, as the issue of a certificate depends entirely on the factual evidence about the history and planning status.  This is something we are very experienced in.

We prepared a robust application for our client and worked with them to ensure that the evidence provided was sufficient and clearly presented to meet the requirements of the “balance of probability” test.

As part of this process we:
+ Prepared the necessary site plans;
+ Reviewed the evidence base, advised our client accordingly and arranged for a Statutory Declaration to be prepared to further strengthen the case;
+ Prepared an evidence commentary to support the certificate and further justify why the use, operations and other matters should be found lawful and;
+ Prepared the necessary forms for the application, oversaw collation and submission and engaged proactively with the LPA.

We are delighted that Haringey Council granted the Certificate of Lawfulness and that it was decided in a timely manner. We believe that the clear document of evidence which met all the precise and detailed requirements helped in the speed of determining the application. We are pleased that our client has instructed us to further assist them with a s.73 application to help change the operating hours of the sports pitch.

Why use a planning consultant?

We add value to lawful development certificate applications like these through our nuanced understanding of the planning system and the detailed evidence base such applications require. If you would like to see how we can best help you with your Certificate of Lawfulness application and to receive a no obligation fee quote, then contact James at or call us on 01242 501003 with a brief overview of your project and the site address. In the meantime, you can view our recent CoL projects here. We value your privacy and any information which you provide will not be shared outside of our company and will only be used in relation to your enquiry.