Amendments to planning permission

including minor material and non-material amendments

Can you make amendments to planning permission?

Depending upon the changes required, certain planning amendments can be made to schemes after planning approval has been granted. 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 a planning permission. Where the proposed modification is significant or fundamental a new planning application may be required instead.

What is a planning amendment?

A planning amendment, for less substantial changes to a scheme, could include changes to a design, appearance, layout of a building or extension for example. Depending upon the nature of the changes proposed these could be dealt with via a non-material amendment or a minor material amendment, giving formal approval for amendments to the planning permission.


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What is a non-material amendment?

A non-material amendment depends upon the individual application and unfortunately, there is no statutory definition of a non-material amendment. What may be considered a non-material amendment in one context may not, unfortunately for another. It is for the relevant local planning authority to determine whether the proposed changes are non-material under Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Seeking advice from the Local Planning Authority or relevant planning expert before an application is made could be beneficial.

A non-material amendment application requires a small fee to be paid. A formal application with the relevant form needs to be submitted.

Certain amendments to planning permission would not usually be a non-material amendment, including changes to the redline site boundary, changes to the description, if the planning amendments increase the height of the development for example.

Can you appeal a non-material amendment?

Non-material amendment decisions cannot be appealed. Alternative routes, for example, submitting a planning application (LINK) would need to be made, to seek approval for the various planning amendments, which could then be appealed if necessary.


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

What is a minor material amendment application?

Planning amendments that are more significant than a minor or non-material may be described as a “minor material amendment”.

There is no statutory definition of a minor material amendment however such planning amendments are 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 material amendment. Pre-application discussions can therefore be useful to judge both whether the minor material amendment route and the proposed changes are appropriate before submitting an application to make amendments to a planning permission.

Such a minor material amendment application is made under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The planning amendments application would require a formal submission, along with a fee and application forms.

How long to planning amendments take?

Applications for amendments to planning permission have statutory timeframes for local planning authorities to deal with them.

One of the benefits of submitting a non-material amendment rather than other planning amendments options (for example a minor material amendment) is that the timeframes for determining the non-material amendment applications are typically quicker, for example, 28 days (or longer if agreed) than full planning applications.

A minor material amendment application has the same time limit for making a decision as a new application (for example 8 weeks for a minor application) with any refusal to grant a minor material amendment having the ability to be challenged with a planning appeal.


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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