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Explanatory Memorandum to Planning Amendment (Northern Ireland) Order 2003

Other changes relating to enforcement

Article 12 ‑ Certificate of lawful use or development

Under this Article, a person is able to apply to the Department for a certificate to ascertain whether an existing use of buildings or other land, or operational development, or some activity in breach of a planning condition, is lawful. In the case of a proposed use or operational development, the grant of a certificate establishes the lawfulness of the proposed use or operational development. The onus for producing sufficient evidence to warrant the granting of a certificate rests firmly on the applicant. There is a right of appeal against a refusal or failure to give a decision. Any person who makes a false or misleading statement in respect of procuring a certificate will, on summary conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or a fine, or both.

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