From 1 October 2009, Section 190 of the 2008 Planning Act implements new Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This allows non- material changes to existing planning permissions, without requiring the submission of a new planning application or an application under S73 of the Act for minor-material amendments.
The Council operates a system where ’minor amendments’ to a scheme can be considered as a way of allowing the planning system to respond in a reasonable and flexible manner to small changes to an approved scheme without seeking a fresh application.
The discretion rests with the Council as to whether the amendments constitute a non-material revision to a planning permission which would not take it outside the scope of the original permission.
A judgement on “materiality” in any particular case, is one of fact and degree, along with taking into account the likely impact of the amendment on the local environment. Materiality is considered against the development as a whole, not just part of it. The basis for forming a judgement on materiality is always the original planning permission. The cumulative effects of any previous amendments need also to be assessed against any original permission.
There cannot be a set of prescriptive rules to what is or is not “material”, as each case is different and considered on its individual merit. This is a matter for the local planning authority to decide. The following protocol has been devised to clarify the process for determination as well as setting out the procedure involved.
Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 states that “in deciding whether a change is material, a Local Planning Authority must have regard to the effect of the change, together with previous changes made under this section, on the planning permission as originally granted”.
This practice note sets out the circumstances in which minor amendments to approved planning applications will be accepted.
All of the following criteria must be met for amendments to be considered:
- There would be no alteration to the application site boundary (red edge).
- The amendment would result in the scheme becoming contrary to the adopted policies of the council.
- The resulting scheme would conflict with any existing planning conditions.
- The proposal would not exacerbate concerns raised by third parties at original planning application stage.
- The resulting scheme is increased in size (by volume and/or height) to the extent where this would have a material impact on the design, external appearance and/or local amenity.
- The proposal would not result in an extension to development already approved.
- The resulting scheme would alter the nature or description of the development.
- There is an increase in the number of any openings, or a noticeable increase in size and/or location of openings (doors and windows), which would affect the external appearance of the proposal or result in loss of privacy or amenity to neighbours.
- The resulting scheme would have a poorer design by reason of loss of detail or lower quality materials that would impact on visual amenity
The criteria set out above are designed to prevent amendments being accepted that would have a detrimental impact upon neighbours or amenity in the wider public interest. Minor changes would not normally require any publicity. If, in the opinion of the council, a proposed amendment warrants re- consultation, it will not be regarded as minor and therefore will not be considered without a fresh application
The provision for non-material amendments outlined in this procedure note only relates to planning permission. There is no equivalent scheme in place for changes either to Listed Building Consent or Conservation Area Consent. For these, the works must be carried out strictly in accordance with the approved scheme or a new application submitted.
The original planning permission will not be reissued. The original application and the approved ‘non-material amendment’ should be read together.
The council is able to impose new conditions or remove/alter existing conditions as part of any decision.
In the event that the non-material amendment is refused or not determined, there is a right of appeal under s78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It is anticipated that the scope of this appeal will be limited to the proposed change.
Minor amendment submission requirements
Applicants are encouraged to apply for minor amendments electronically. Electronic plans (PDF) can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All plans must include a linear scale bar and must be accompanied with the standard application form which refers to the previously approved application scheme/number and a description of the proposed changes.
If applicants wish to submit minor amendment requests by post they should include one copy of all plans and the relevant planning application form and send to:
Blackburn With Darwen Borough Council Growth & Development Department Planning Service, Town Hall, King William Street Blackburn, BB1 7DY
Alternatively non-material amendments to planning applications can be submitted electronically using the Planning Portal.
Period for determining minor amendment requests
The Council will endeavour to deal with all minor amendment requests within 28 days of receipt of a complete application.