Planning permission has been granted but I want to make some changes. What is involved?

Congratulations on achieving planning permission! It depends on the scale of your proposed changes, as prescribed by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. You can apply to make a change as follows:

  • Insignificant changes are rated as ‘non-material amendments’. Section 96A permits applications for non-material amendment to existing planning permissions, which remain subject to the original conditions and time limits.
  • Significant changes are rated as ‘minor material amendments’. Section 73 allows an application to be made to permit conditions associated with the original permission to be varied or removed.
  • Where an amendment is considered to be a ‘material amendment’, a complete new planning application is required.

Material amendments, for which a fresh application might be required could include:

• Significantly increasing its size.
• Changes to windows or other openings that impact on neighbouring properties.
• Changes that alter the description of development.
• Changes to the application site area.
• Significant alterations to the design or the siting of the proposals.
• Changes that would affect objections to the original proposal.

Guidance states that, ‘in deciding whether a change is material, a local planning authority must have regard to the effect of the change, together with any previous changes made’, and that, ‘minor material amendments are 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.’