Planning enforcement: Do you have to prove lawfulness 'beyond all reasonable doubt'?
Do you have to prove lawfulness 'beyond all reasonable doubt'?
No. The local planning authority can issue Lawful Development Certificates where it has been demonstrated that, on the balance of probability, a use, operation, or activity in breach of a planning condition is lawful on the date of the application.
The onus of proof is firmly on the applicant. However, if the LPA has no evidence of its own, or from others, to contradict or otherwise make the applicant's version of events less than probable, there may be no good reason to refuse the application, provided the applicant's evidence alone is sufficiently precise and unambiguous to justify the grant of a certificate 'on the balance of probability'.