Variation of Planning Conditions
En-Plan are able to advise you on Section 73 applications which are an appropriate mechanism for securing ‘minor material’ amendments to an approved scheme – they are essentially small scale changes. It works by altering a condition attached to the original planning permission, to reference any ‘changed’ plans. So there must be a list of approved plans and documents attached to your original decision in the first instance in order for it to be altered. If there isn’t, then you can use a Section 96a application process (read on) to first attach this, and then use the Section 73 process to amend it (sounds more complicated than it actually is).
There is no formal definition of a ‘minor material’ amendment, it’s very much at the discretion of the relevant LPA and as such can vary between them. However, it generally includes any changes that are not substantially different to the original planning permission, so an LPA would be looking at significant differences in scale, site coverage, building heights, site levels, changes in use, changes in appearance and any new environmental, aesthetic or amenity impacts.
Any amendments would also be considered against Local Plan policy and against any restrictive conditions on the original permission. They would also be scrutinised if they reverse any design improvements secured in the first scheme, or involve any tweaks to the application site (red line) boundary.
Once granted, a Section 73 consent sits alongside the original permission which remains intact. So, you can implement either scheme (not both) but need to inform the LPA which one you will be pursuing. The new decision notice should replicate the relevant conditions from the original (unless these have been discharged), and some conditions will be reworded to reflect the newly approved plans. There is also the possibility that the LPA may choose to add further conditions as they see fit. So make sure you request a draft of these before the new decision notice is issued.
You should also be aware that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations apply to a Section 73 application, as this is considered to be a new application for planning permission under the 2011 EIA Regulations. Where the development is listed under either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 and satisfies the criteria or thresholds, you should request the LPA to carry out a new Screening Request and/or Scoping Opinion to determine if an EIA is necessary. If the original permission was EIA development then the LPA will need to consider if you should supplement the original Environmental Statement (ES) to satisfy the requirements of the Regulations. Whether changes are required or not, an ES must be submitted with a Section 73 application if the LPA considers it to be EIA development.
You will also need to be conscious of timescale, as the Section 73 process replicates that of the original application. So, if this was a major or an EIA scheme, then the Section 73 submission would take 13 or 16 weeks respectively. Moreover, if there was a Unilateral Undertaking or a Section 106 Agreement attached to the original permission then you are obliged to provide a Deed of Variation to attach this to the new permission. Finally, the Section 73 route is only available to planning, and not listed building consents, which are dealt with below.
At En-Plan we can provide the relevant drawings and expertise to enable the above and we can also help you with any "non-material amendments" or the discharge of planning conditions as you implement your planning permission.
Please CONTACT US for a free no obligation consultation or email me on email@example.com. I look forward to talking through any planning conditions you may need our assistance with.