A person who wants to know whether an existing use of land or buildings is lawful, or whether works that have been carried out in the past are lawful, may apply to the planning authority for a certificate of lawfulness of use or development.
A person who wants to know whether the use of buildings or other land would be lawful or whether any proposed works would be lawful may apply to the planning authority for a certificate of lawfulness of proposed use or development.
You have the right to appeal to Scottish Ministers where a planning authority refuses or partially refuses to issue a certificate of lawfulness, or where the planning authority has failed to determine your application for a certificate within two months.
Whether an existing or proposed use or development is lawful is a matter of fact and the relevant legal provisions. The planning authority does not consider the planning merits of the application. The onus is on the applicant to provide the evidence needed to support the application. Where an appeal is made against refusal or partial refusal, the determining issue will be whether the decision of the planning authority was well-founded.
A short guide to the appeals system can be found in appeals guide. Section 9.1 of the guide explains the procedures that apply to certificate of lawful use or development appeals. To submit an appeal electronically use the Online Appeal and Application System or download a certificates of lawful use or development appeal form and submit it by e-mail. Notes for appellants for certificates of lawful use or development are also available.
We publish all documents in these appeals on our dedicated case information website. How to search for an appeal or decision provides guidance on using the site. Please note that all documents relating to an appeal will be published on the internet. More information can be found in the DPEA Data Protection.