The non-material amendment route to alter an existing planning permission.
A Section 96a application is also known as a ‘non-material’ amendment. This does not grant planning permission in its own right, but is an amendment to the original permission which stands alongside, and is read in conjunction with, the original decision notice. This means that a decision under this mechanism cannot be appealed, nor can you appeal an LPA refusal to deal with this type of application if they consider the scope of the amendments are beyond ‘non-material’.
As with Section 73 submissions (material amendments to an existing planning permission), there is no statutory definition for ‘non-material’. It’s probably a ‘greyer’ area than for the Section 73 process and is down to the discretion of each LPA. Essentially, non-material amendments are small scale changes that do not change the nature, description or overall quality of the original permission, do not result in an increase in the size, height, scale or volume of a building, have very little individual or cumulative impact on the overall scheme, and don’t conflict with relevant Local Plan policy.
Examples of non-material amendments:
Minor changes to what was described in the planning permission
Changes which do not breach conditions of planning permission
Changes which do not increase the height of the property
The advantages of a Section 96a application is that the LPA is not obliged to reconsult and should determine it within 28 days of registration. So it’s a relatively swift and inexpensive option if the changes are small and insignificant. Again as with Section 73 applications, this process only applies to planning permissions.
An application for a non-material amendment may require you to submit any changes to drawings and plans which were submitted under the original planning permission. As well as detailed information around the proposed amendments and how these differ from the original application.
Decisions should be made within 28 days of an application being deemed valid by the Local Planning Authority. This may be longer if the two parties agree to extend the period during the application process.
An application for non-material amendments will cost:
For householder development: £34
Any other development type: £234
What happens next?
Applications for a non-material amendment can be made through our online application service.
If a non-material amendment application is successful, no new planning permission will be created. The original planning permission will still be valid but will be modified as detailed by the non-material amendment decision. Therefore, both decisions will need to be read together.
Should you be looking to make more significant changes we can also help you with Variation of Planning Conditions and we can provide the technical detail required to discharge a planning condition. Whatever your requirement we can assist in a speedy and cost effective manner.
Case Study: Non material amendment to the change of use of internal garage to office, in connection with the operation of the pre-school nursery as permitted under application reference 23/0049. 1, GORWAY GARDENS, WALSALL, WS1 3BJ
Following on from the successful planning application for a two-storey side extension and change of use from residential (use class C3) to a mixed use of residential and pre-school nursery provision En-Plan were asked by the owners to alter the plans to allow for a new office to serve the approved nursery.
En-Plan werre able to rapidly alter the plans and gaiun a non-,matwrila amnedment approval for these so the programme of works for the new nursery to be bought into operation is not disrupted.