A non-material amendment application under Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act is a way of amending an existing planning permission, if the amendment is very minor and is not a material change to the development as approved. There is no definition of what is ‘non-material’ and this will depend on the development as permitted and the change proposed. An amendment that is material to one permission may be non-material to another.
If the change is likely to have amenity, highways or other impacts, increase the size or clearly change the appearance of a development, or conflict with conditions imposed it is not likely to be considered to be non-material. The local planning authority must be satisfied that the amendment is non-material in order to grant the application. If the change is material the correct approach would be to apply for a Section 73 variation of conditions, or a fresh planning application.
A non-material amendment can be made via the Planning Portal website using a non-material amendment form. As well as the application form, plans to clearly show the changes must be submitted.
The Local Planning Authority have discretion as to whether they consult on a non-material amendment application. As the changes sought are likely to be non-material then it is unlikely that publicity will be necessary. The applicant must notify any landowners whose land is affected as with any planning application, and record who has been notified on the planning application form.
The time period for determination of a non-material amendment is 28 days, unless a longer period has been agreed in writing between the parties.
The local planning authority must have regard to the effect of the change, together with any previous changes made under section 96A. They must also take into account any representations made by anyone notified, provided that they are received within 14 days of notification.
There is no right of appeal for refusal or non-determination of non-material amendment applications. If they are refused then the applicant would have to submit a S73 application or a new planning application instead.
The decision only relates to the non-material amendments sought and should be read together with the original planning permission, which still stands.
Listed building consents cannot be amended in this way.
Application forms and Guidance Notes for non-material amendments can be found on the Planning Portal website.