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Amending a planning permission

Sometimes changes need to be made after a scheme has been granted planning approval.  You are advised to apply to us if you wish to make any changes as early as possible, and not after the changes have already taken place (in case they are not acceptable).

There are different classifications for amendments as follows:

  • Non-material amendments
  • Minor material amendments
  • Variation or removal of conditions

Requests should be made on the relevant forms (see Post-permission Applications) and the fees paid.

Non-material amendments

Whether or not a proposed change is non-material will depend on the circumstances of the case. A change which may be non-material in one case could be material in another. However, generally a non-material amendment should be so minor that it would not raise any interest from other parties, nor affect the comments that they made on the original planning permission (it should be "non-material" to the overall development approved). It should also not conflict with any condition imposed on the original permission (see Removal or Variation of a Condition below).

The purpose of a non-material amendment application is to determine whether or not the proposed changes would require a further application for planning permission. The Council will determine this within 28 days.  If the application is refused, you will need to apply for planning permission.

There is no statutory definition of non-material, but this Council, as the planning authority, must be satisfied that the amendment sought is non-material in order to grant an application. If you are uncertain, you may wish to seek pre-application advice from us.

Minor material amendments

There is no statutory definition of a ‘minor material amendment’ but it is likely to include any amendment where its scale and/or nature results in a development which is not substantially different from the one which has been approved. Amendments should also try to avoid having a greater impact on neighbours, as this may have affected what they said at the time they were consulted originally. 

You can find more information on the flexible options for planning permissions in the  "A Flexible Approach to Planning Permissions" document.

Although there are no set rules, we will in most cases accept the following as minor amendments to previously approved plans:

  • Reductions in the volume / size of the building/extension

  • Reductions in the height of the building/extension

  • Amendments to windows / doors/openings that will not have any greater impact on neighbours

  • Subtle changes in materials, or detailed matters of design on individual features

  • Small movements or "tweaks" to landscaping, surfacing or parking space positions.

Where a new application would be required

A new planning application would need to be submitted where the development would go beyond the scope of the original planning permission, for example:

  • Significant increase in the volume of the building / extension

  • Significant increase in the height of the building / extension

  • Changes that would conflict with a condition on the original approval

  • Additional or repositioned windows that will have possible impacts on neighbours

  • Changes that would alter the description of development from the original application

  • Amendments that would possibly change the opinions of neighbours, other Council departments or external statutory bodies that we consulted (or who would now need consulting).

Removal or variation of a condition

If applicants do not agree with the conditions the Council has imposed they can apply to get the condition changed or removed. This applies to any condition except for the time limit for commencement of the development or submission of reserved matters (in the case of outline permissions).  

To change or remove the condition you can