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Talk to us First

Much time, effort and expense can be saved by all concerned by first discussing a proposed development, change of use or amendment to an approved plan with us.

The council operates a free Duty Officer advisory service at its offices.

The Duty Officer is available to see at the district council's Saffron Walden offices or by calling UConnect on 01799 510510.

This service is, however, for basic general enquiries such as whether planning permission or listed building consent required and for advice on householder developments such as house extensions. This type of advice can also be applied for in writing - please refer to our Advice and Guidance Section for more information. You may also wish to seek the advice and services of a professional agent.

Over recent years the council has increased its checking of development to ensure that it is in accordance with approved plans and relevant planning conditions. The council is not only concerned with protecting the local environment, but also to ensure that all persons adhere to the correct planning procedures.

To establish if a development is lawful and therefore immune from the need for planning permission and from enforcement action you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate. This is a special type of application that seeks to certify that a given development would be immune from enforcement action because it would be lawful. There are two forms of application; one for existing development and the other for proposed. Either type can relate to uses of land and buildings, or building or other operations.

The main benefit of ensuring that you have either a Certificate of Lawfulness or Planning Permission should that be required, is when ownership of the property is transferred to another party there are no unnecessary delays in respect of planning matters, which appear to be the case at the present time.

The burden of proof in a Lawful Development Certificate is firmly with the applicant and therefore sufficient and precise information should be provided when applying.

Contact Planning

If you need further guidance on applying for planning permission, please see our planning advice page.