Last Updated May 23, 2019

Law and Practice

Authors



Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Ltd is a niche corporate law firm formed in December 2005 and based in London and Dudley, dealing primarily with corporate and commercial work together with commercial property and litigation. Its client base includes European and Anglo-US companies, regional and national clients as well as individuals. The firm’s Real Estate department is best known for secured lending work on behalf of HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and RBS, as well as all aspects of commercial property work on behalf of its SME client base, which spans a number of key industry sectors including pharmaceutical and healthcare, manufacturing, engineering and pension funds. It advises on a wide range of property-related matters, including commercial acquisitions and disposals, commercial leases, secured lending and corporate support. Hawkins Hatton also offers advice on a broad range of specialist areas such as property investment and finance, development schemes, compulsory purchase issues, construction and commercial leases for clients including landlords and tenants, public companies, banks, private companies, developers and investors.

A local authority search will identify the permitted use of a parcel of land and whether this use has planning permission. 

Where the property does not have planning permission for the permitted use, a seller/occupier of a commercial property can obtain a lawful development certificate for an existing use or development provided it can be shown that the property has been in that use for a continuous period of ten years or more. No enforcement action can be taken by a local authority once ten years have elapsed from the date of the breach (ie, the date on which the unlawful use of the property started).

An indemnity policy is usually readily available to provide cover to protect against the risk of any enforcement action.

In relation to a building where practical completion was more than four years ago and the use of the building has been as a dwelling for more than four years, a lawful development certificate can be obtained.

It is possible to obtain authorisation from the local authority in respect of change of use and it is always recommended that, prior to any development work, clients obtain the relevant planning permission from the local authority. This planning permission will include permission required to undertake the planned works and the use of property following completion of those works.

Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Limited

Foxglove House
166 Piccadilly
London
W1J 9EF

+44 020 8191 7893

N/A

crodrigues@hawkinshatton.co.uk www.hawkinshatton.co.uk
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Authors



Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Ltd is a niche corporate law firm formed in December 2005 and based in London and Dudley, dealing primarily with corporate and commercial work together with commercial property and litigation. Its client base includes European and Anglo-US companies, regional and national clients as well as individuals. The firm’s Real Estate department is best known for secured lending work on behalf of HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Santander and RBS, as well as all aspects of commercial property work on behalf of its SME client base, which spans a number of key industry sectors including pharmaceutical and healthcare, manufacturing, engineering and pension funds. It advises on a wide range of property-related matters, including commercial acquisitions and disposals, commercial leases, secured lending and corporate support. Hawkins Hatton also offers advice on a broad range of specialist areas such as property investment and finance, development schemes, compulsory purchase issues, construction and commercial leases for clients including landlords and tenants, public companies, banks, private companies, developers and investors.

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