This case confirms that when applying for a certificate of lawfulness for a use in breach of planning control, the applicant must show ten years' continuous use up to the date of the application.
The property was a cottage in an attractive part of the Chilterns which was the subject of an agricultural occupancy condition. The cottage would be very valuable if it could be occupied free of the condition. The owner applied for a certificate on the basis that the cottage had been occupied for more than ten years in breach of the condition.
Unfortunately, at the date of the application the cottage was empty. The court held that there was no breach of planning control, and therefore no basis for a certificate of lawfulness.