New legislation came into force on 1 October 2009 which allows the local planning authorities to approve non material changes to approved development in the form of the Town & Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Amendment no 3) (England) Order 2009 which in turn has been replaced by the Town & Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010.

Alterations to approved plans have previously been referred to as minor or working amendments.

What is a non-material amendment?

Anything but the most insignificant change would need to be dealt with by the submission of a new planning application.

  • The application site area (red line) differs from the original application
  • The application description differs from the original application
  • The proposal would result in changes to the external details (e.g. facing materials or roof shape) that would materially alter the appearance of the building
  • The amendment increases the size of any part of the development
  • The development moves more than 1 metre in any direction
  • The height of the building or structure is increased by more than 300mm
  • The amendment locates any part of the development closer to a neighbour unless the development as amended is in excess of 5 metres from the common boundary with the effected neighbour
  • The amendment results in a fundamental change in the design of the building
  • If the amendment changes windows or doors in any elevation facing a neighbour which increases overlooking in any way
  • The amendment would result in a greater visual intrusion, loss of light or feeling of enclosure to neighbours
  • There were any relevant objections to the original proposal which would be compromised by the proposed minor amendment.

Please note: The above points are intended as a guide. Each proposal, whether or not it is in-line with this guidance, will have to be assessed on it’s own merits, having regard to the position of the development in relation to neighbouring properties.

Applications can only be made by someone who has a legal interest in the land, i.e., it does not have to be the original applicant.

  • Notice has to be served by the applicant on any owner of any land to which the application relates.
  • We will take owner to include the actual owner, someone with an interest in the land in excess of 7 years (such as a tenant) or someone who has exchanged contracts to purchase the land.
  • No Design and Access Statement is necessary
  • There is a standard application form on the Planning Portal (external link)
  • There is a fee of £28 for householders and £195 in all other cases.
  • Neighbour notification and consultation is discretionary; the Council will not undertake notification and consultation in most cases.
  • The application is not for a new permission so it will not be necessary to repeat conditions from the original permission.
  • If the amendment is such that a new condition is necessary, then it cannot be a non-material amendment and a fresh application will be required.
  • Applications and decisions must be placed on the planning register.
  • The Council have to take into account any comments received within 14 days of any notice being served on an owner.
  • There is no prescribed form of decision, but we will advise you of our decision in writing.
  • Decisions are expected to be issued within 28 days.
  • Normal rights of appeal apply.
  • What you should do if you are proposing a non material amendment

If you are proposing minor changes from the approved plans that you think could be considered as a non-material amendment, then you should contact the case officer who originally dealt with your application. He or she will be able to advise if the amendments can be agreed under this procedure, or whether a new application will be required. There is no charge for this initial advice.