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Amendments to Planning Permission

including Non-Material Amendments

Can You Make Amendments to Planning Permission?

Certain planning amendments can be made to schemes after planning approval has been granted. The criteria depends on to type of changes required. Planning consents frequently have conditions that require further information to be provided. However if planning amendments, for example to the design, are required, these can often be dealt with via a separate application to make amendments to planning permission. Where the proposed modification is significant or fundamental, a new application may be required.

What is a Planning Amendment?

It can include changes to a design, appearance, layout of a building or extension. Depending upon the nature of the changes proposed, these could be dealt with via a ‘non-material amendment’ or a ‘minor material amendment’. Once approved these give formal consent to amend the originally granted permission.


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What is a Non-Material Amendment?

There is no statutory definition of a non-material amendment, it all depends upon the individual application. What may be considered non-material in one context may not for another. The relevant local planning authority determines whether the proposed changes fall under Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Those which fall outside of the definition are; changes to the redline site boundary, changes to the description, and changes to the height of a development.

To make a non-material amendment following a grant of planning permission, a formal application needs to be submitted along with a small fee.

It is beneficial to seek advice from the Local Planning Authority or relevant planning expert before an application is made. That’s where Plande come in.

Can You Appeal a Non-Material Amendment?

There is no right of appeal for non-determination of a non-material amendment application. Alternative routes such as submitting a planning application would need to be made. The new application could then be appealed if necessary.


Improve your chances of success by understanding amendments to planning permission.

What is a Minor Material Amendment Application?

A minor-material amendment can be applied for to approve a minor change to planning permission. This applies if it doesn’t breach any conditions originally placed on the consent and where the changes are not “non-material”. A new application is required if the Local Planning Authority does not consider the amendment to be minor.

There is no statutory definition of a minor material amendment however it is likely to be of a scale or nature which is not substantially different from the one which has been approved.

As for a non-material amendment, it is for the relevant local planning authority to determine whether the changes are a minor or not. Pre-application discussions can therefore be useful to judge both whether the amendment route is appropriate before submitting an application to make changes permission whch has already been granted.

Such applications are made under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. They require a formal application form along with a small fee.

How Long Do Planning Amendments Take?

Decisions for non-material amendments are normally made by the Local Planning Authority within 28 Days of an application being deemed valid. If the two parties agree to extend the period during the application process then it can take longer. However it must be noted that applications for amendments to planning permission have statutory timeframes for local planning authorities to deal with them, so it may vary depending on the authority.

One of the benefits of submitting a ”non-material amendment’ rather than considering other options is that decisions are often made more quickly.

A minor material amendment application typically takes around the same time and if refused can be challenged with a planning appeal. Whereas new minor applications can take around 8 weeks.


Disclaimer: This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon. The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ. Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out. All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Read the full disclaimer here.

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