Lawfulness approved for place of worship in Reading

A Certificate of Lawfulness has been granted for the continuous use of an approved community centre as a place of worship in Reading.

Following an enforcement investigation in 2017, an application for a certificate of lawfulness was submitted. ET Planning worked with Space Office architects to provide plans of the community centre which showed the main hall being used as a meeting place for services. Further evidence was also provided to demonstrate that the place of worship had been operating for over 10 years.

Although a successful outcome has now been achieved, the approval has taken longer than normal due to the time necessary to cross reference the submitted evidence with the Council’s own enforcement investigation records dating back to the opening of the building in 2006.

During the course of the application the Council advised ET planning that the application would need to be determined by a planning committee, and then later advised that the submission would be refused.

ET planning managed to avoid both a refusal of the submission and a committee hearing, both of which would have been costly to the client, by providing supporting evidence and reaffirming the Council’s statutory powers under the Town and Country Planning Act, and of the advice contained in National Planning Policy Guidance (NPPG).

The Council accepted this persuasive case and then positively determined the application under delegated powers.