Costly enforcement action avoided for lawful Builders Yard

ET Planning recently helped a local landowner to secure a Certificate of Lawfulness for their builders yard, avoiding costly enforcement action.

The builders yard in Wokingham changed its use more than 10 years ago, deeming it lawful. The yard is now used for storing building materials, empty caravans, and ancillary parking of vehicles and machinery.

As part of the application for lawful use, ET Planning referenced the Town and Country Planning Act (Section 171B) which states that “…no enforcement action may be taken after the end of the period of ten years beginning with the date of the breach”.

ET Planning worked closely with the land owner to gather and provide substantial evidence that the change of use had commenced and been continuous since April 2009 – more than 10 years ago. As part of this evidence pack there were 12 declarations made from the business directors, companies who have regularly supplied and delivered building materials, machinery and caravans to the site, individuals who have serviced vehicles and machinery on site, neighbours and previous employees of the site. These declarations hold significant weight and support the land owners claims of lawfulness.

As well as the declarations, ET Planning also submitted aerial images and invoices along with the application in support of the declarations that had been made.

The evidence within this case was undeniable and so Wokingham Borough Council approved the Certificate of Lawfulness via a delegated decision.