Amending an application after the decision has been made

Whether your application has been permitted or refused, there are certain steps you may wish to take to amend it.

If your application has been refused, you may wish to appeal against the refusal. However, you may also like to take advice on what changes, if any, might be made to maximise the likelihood of it being permitted on resubmission.

If your application has been permitted you can apply to amend it in a number of ways.

The nature of the amendment will generally dictate the method:

Non-Material Amendments (NMA)

An application for an NMA removes the need for an entirely new planning application where only very small changes are sought. The Government has not provided a definition of non-material amendments and this is a matter for the local planning authority's discretion. 

Whether or not a proposed amendment is considered to be non-material will depend on the circumstances of the case - what may be non-material in one context may be material in another. Whether or not a change can be considered as an NMA may be defined according to established legal concepts of materiality and de minimus. In the case of amendments to permission for alterations/extensions to a residential property the Council will use the following criteria to assist in guiding its decision as to whether or not an application for an NMA might be appropriate:

  • The proposal is for a very small change to the development already granted planning permission;
  • The proposed amendment does not alter the development significantly from what was described on the planning permission and does not conflict with any conditions of the permission;
  • No adopted planning policy is breached;
  • The proposed amendment does not conflict with an objection to the original planning permission raised by a consultee or any other interested third party (in particular a neighbour of the proposed development site);
  • The proposed amendment would not move any external wall outwards more than the thickness of a wall;
  • The proposal would not increase the height of any roof;
  • No windows are introduced that could potentially permit overlooking of other properties.

This list is intended as guidance to help prospective applicants, and is not intended to be a check list that must be complied with. Each decision will take into account the nature of the proposed change, site circumstances and any identified impact arising from the proposed change.

Such an application, if approved, would form an amendment to the original planning permission and would be subject to the conditions and time limit of the original permission. It would not form a new planning permission.

There is no right of appeal against a refusal or the non-determination of an NMA application.

Amendments  beyond NMAs 

If an amendment cannot be regarded as an NMA, it would require planning permission, either by way of a Variation of Condition application (VRC) or by way of a fresh planning application. Dependent upon the nature of the development, there will be instances where, particularly in terms of the application fee, it is more beneficial to submit one type of application over the other:

Variation of Condition application - If the original planning permission has a condition in place which lists the approved plans, it may be possible to vary that condition by submitting a VRC application and amended plans, as long as the resulting development is one whose scale, nature, character and description is not substantially different from the one which has been approved. The description on the application form must state which condition you are seeking to vary. Only extant planning permissions can be amended this way; Listed Building Consents or Conservation Area Consents cannot. The first VRC on an application is free as long as it is submitted within 12 months of the decision having been made and providing the full fee was paid on the original application by the same applicant. Please note that this exemption can only be given once.

Full planning application - Alternatively, the application can be amended by submitting a fresh planning application which will be free as long as it is made within 12 months of the decision having been made, providing the full fee was paid for the most recent application and the development is of the same character, on the same site and for the same applicant. Please note that this exemption can only be given once.

Removal of a Condition

You can apply to remove a condition on an extant planning permission by making a Removal of Condition application to the Planning Authority or by appealing against the condition

Please be aware that if the planning application you are seeking to amend has a corresponding application for Listed Building Consent, a new Listed Building consent application must be submitted detailing the proposed amendments. A revised Conservation Area consent application will only be required if you propose to demolish more than has already been approved.