Successful certificate of lawfulness application helps small business owner avoid enforcement action

Plainview Planning have this week secured a Certificate of Lawfulness for a high-end audio company in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, enabling them to avoid enforcement action.

The challenge:

Our client ran a successful online audio business.  Whilst a central warehouse dealt with deliveries and customer dispatch,  an appointment only service was offered to enable potential buyers to listen to the audio equipment in a home environment.

Our client had been approached by an enforcement officer over concerns of the level of business activity and intensification of use at the C3 dwelling.  The officer perceived that this constituted a material change of use and had advised that a planning application to regularise the situation was unlikely to be accepted.

Robust evidence:

After carrying out an initial case review, our planning consultants concluded that the enforcement officer’s concerns were unfounded and that the business use at the residential dwelling was demonstrably ancillary.

We provided full planning support on an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness for existing ancillary use (working from home), so that our client could continue to operate part of the business from their home.

Whether a material change of use has occurred is a matter of fact and degree and we assessed the individual merits of the case in line with the relevant issues outlined in the NPPG.

Our planning consultants prepared a strong evidence base to justify how and why the business purposes of the residential dwelling did not constitute a material change of use and therefore were in accordance with planning legislation and would not require planning permission.

Our team also provided a detailed commentary to any objections raised and were successful in identifying the concerns as unfounded.

And negotiation:

Through negotiation and a rigorous assessment of the evidence we successfully justified how and why the property remained primarily a C3 dwelling house, and that the activities associated with the business were not intrusive or particularly out of place with the character of the area.

The Certificate was granted and the enforcement file closed.

About us:

Plainview Planning are an independent town and country planning consultancy.  Our bright and knowledgeable team provide expert planning support across the commercial, developer and householder sectors.  If your planning goals require professional planning consultant input, contact our approachable team via to see how we can best assist.