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Certificates of Lawfulness and Legal Agreements

Certificates of Lawfulness (CLEUDS) are decisions obtained from the local planning authority confirming that the use and operation of proposed or existing developments are ‘lawful’ in planning terms.

CLEUDs can be extremely useful where a building or use has taken place over a stipulated length of time (ten years for use or contravention of a condition, four years for construction, or when a building is converted to a single dwelling house), particularly where these changes do not meet planning policy and could be rejected if a planning application was submitted. This is particularly important when significant money and investment have already been incurred for any development.

The Certificate can also be used for proposed development and can be helpful where there is doubt over the use of, for example, permitted development rights or for like for like repairs for listed buildings.

We are very conversant with Certificates and what is needed to put together a comprehensive and effective application.

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Legal Planning Agreements

Sometimes councils will require developers, landowners, and applicants to enter into legal agreements to secure mitigation to make a development proposal acceptable in planning terms. These must meet certain tests set out in legislation and planning policy.

Should you need to negotiate the obligations contained within a legal agreement to successfully secure permission, or subsequently modify or discharge such an agreement, we have the skills and expertise to help. We can work with councils and solicitors to ensure that the terms of any such agreement are reasonable and proportionate.

If complex or unusual cases need a legal opinion to inform the best course of action for taking a project forward, we have direct access to the Bar and work closely with a number of planning barristers to overcome all types of issues when the need arises. We are able to instruct them directly on your behalf and will also take the time to explain their advice and what it means for your case.

Rural Planning

Case Studies

Examples of how we’ve recently helped clients with rural planning projects


Renewable Energy

Planning Granted for Solar Array

Rother District Council
15th November 2022



Successful Application for a New Access in The Cotswolds

Cotswold District Council
16th November 2021

Let's Discuss Your Development Plans

Contact The Rural Planning Practice for professional and bespoke rural planning solutions.