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Amend a planning application

Making changes to a submitted application

It is at the council’s discretion whether to request or accept amendments to a planning application under consideration. When you submit an application, it should be:

  • supported by relevant information
  • in a condition to be fully assessed and determined as submitted

Our normal position is not to seek or accept any significant amendments after validation.

We will accept amendments to applications that were the subject of pre-application consultation where applicants have considered and addressed pre-application advice given. You should request pre-application advice if possible.

Do not seek amendments in response to an objection unless first requested by your planning case officer.

Guidance on amendments

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, we will only seek an amendment under the following conditions:

  1. If more information or clarification is needed to complete the assessment of the scheme (for example, cross sectional or levels details drawings)
  2. Where amendments of a modest nature would improve the scheme.

We will only accept the amendment if an extension of time is agreed at the outset.

We will deal with your application in a positive and proactive manner. However, planning applications that propose developments or works that are unacceptable will be refused. Our aim is to encourage applications that are thoroughly considered and do not require significant amendments to them to be determined. We encourage pre-application consultation with the council and we offer a fee-paid pre-application service.

Making changes after planning permission has been granted

After planning permission has been granted, it may be necessary to make amendments to the permission.

If you need to make small amendments to an existing planning permission, you can apply for a "non-material amendment". Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (amended by Planning Act 2008) covers this. 

If the criteria for non-material amendments cannot be met, then a Section 73 application (often referred to as material amendment application) or a new full application may be required. 

Non-material amendments

Non-material amendments must:

  • be within the scope of the original planning permission; and
  • not result in a materially different scheme that has a differing impact. The scale and nature of any change will be dependent upon the scale of the original development. For example, for a householder application, any change should not be noticeable by a neighbour for it to be non-material. For a large housing scheme, while the number of units may not change, the appearance of the dwellings may change and remain a non-material amendment.

There will be no consultations, publicity or notifications. This is because a non-material amendment is not an application for planning permission.

When a non-material amendment is accepted, it means that:

  • enforcement action will not be taken against the breach of planning control; and
  • there is an accurate record of the development as completed.

There is no statutory definition for 'non-material' changes. It depends on the context and is determined by the Local Planning Authority.

How we decide whether an amendment is non-material

Each application will be considered on its merits. The proposed change may be a non-material amendment if:

  1. There would be no change to the application site boundary and the proposal would be located within it (red line boundary)
  2. The amendment would not conflict with development plan policies or other government guidance
  3. There would be no conflict with any conditions on the planning permission
  4. The proposal would not make worse any concerns raised by third parties when the original planning permission was considered, or have the potential to affect the view of third parties to a proposed development
  5. For householder development, the amendments must not be noticeable by neighbours
  6. The height/volume of the building or extension would not be increased or significantly reduced
  7. The amendments must not result in a fundamental change in the design of the building
  8. The change does not amount to new works or elements which have not been considered by any environmental statement submitted with the original application
  9. Amendments to windows/doors/openings must not have any overlooking impact on neighbouring properties
  10. There would be no change to the description of development in respect of number of proposed units

These criteria are designed to prevent amendments being accepted that would have a harmful impact.

You should check whether the proposed change meets these criteria before making a submission.

A refused non-material amendment application will not receive a refund. The development must be undertaken with the approved plans on the original application, or you can apply for a revised planning application.

Options for amending proposals with planning permission

You can find more information about flexible options for planning permissions on GOV.UK.

Their summary comparison table provides help on minor material amendments and Section 73 Applications.  

Submit a request

Visit the submit a planning application page to access forms and guidance on how to submit an application.

You can apply to amend an application on the Planning Portal.