Planning Development

Changing your planning permission


There are formal procedures to follow when you need to make changes to a planning permission that has been granted and approved. There are three options which will allow you to make changes to an approved planning permission, these procedures are known as:

  • Non-material amendments.
  • Minor material amendments.
  • Extensions to the time limit of an application.

For a summary of the various changes that are permitted please click here.

Please Note: You can only use these procedures if you have an interest in the land and you will need to complete the forms provided by the Planning Portal. To visit the Planning Portal click here. You will also need to notify anybody else who has an interest in the land (as with a planning application) to allow them to comment.

Time Constraints

  • The request for any of the above changes must relate to a planning permission that is still capable of implementation (i.e. the date given when the planning permission expires has not passed or works have already started before this date).
  • The change must not be contrary to a condition attached to the planning permission apart from the extension of time which will amend the date the application expires.

Explanation of Non-Material Amendments

  • These are changes that are very minor and do not materially alter the size and scale of the building, including its footprint and would not alter the description of the development or the red edge area of the application.
  • This process only applies to planning permissions and no other forms of planning consents.
  • Changes need to be 'non-material', wholly acceptable, uncontroversial and be of very limited impact.
  • They will usually relate to changes to the openings (windows and doors), materials, internal alterations, fences and walls, layout of bin and cycle storage and parking spaces, minor changes to the design of a building.

How to apply for a Non-Material Amendment

  • You can apply using a standard form on the Planning Portal website and you can include more than one change on the same application.
  • The officer dealing with the matter will decide whether any change is 'non-material' or 'minor material' (see below).
  • There is no need to consult on these applications but in exceptional circumstances the case officer may decide that this is necessary.
  • On receipt of sufficient information the Case Officer will consider the amendment.
  • Applications will usually be dealt with in 28 days and you will be told in writing if your application has been approved or refused with a reason given in either case and a description of the changes.

Information needed for your application

If you believe that the amendment falls within the criteria listed then you should submit:

  • A copy of the relevant form.
  • One copy of appropriately scaled drawings illustrating the change(s).
  • The relevant fee. Information regarding fees can be found on the Planning Portal by clicking here (website).
  • A covering letter giving the explaining why the changes are needed.

This procedure cannot be used in respect of listed buildings or conservation area consents.

Explanation of Minor Material Amendments

  • These are changes that are more significant than the 'non-material' amendments described above and are described as being changes whose scale and nature results in a development which is not substantially different from the one which has been approved.
  • The changes will still need to be minor and may include changes to the building that result in small reductions to its scale, height or footprint but still not alter the description of the development or the red edged area of the application.
  • Changes need to be wholly acceptable, uncontroversial and be of limited impact.
  • Slight increases to the footprint or scale of buildings may be acceptable under this process but only where there is no impact upon neighbouring properties.

How to apply for a Minor Material Amendment

  • Requests for this procedure can only be made where the original planning permission has a condition stating that 'The development permitted shall be constructed in complete accordance with the specifications in the application and approved plans listed below, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the local planning authority' or similar wording.
  • If there is no condition saying this then you will need to first apply for a 'non-material amendment' to the original permission to add a condition listing the approved plans or alternatively apply for a fresh planning permission which may be quicker.
  • An approved application will result in a new permission and all the relevant conditions from the previous permission will be added along with any others that are required, including a condition listing the new approved plans.
  • The new permission will still expire at the same date as the original permission and the decision notice will include a condition with this date on it.
  • If your application has been refused you can appeal and this must be within 12 weeks if the application relates to a householder planning permission or within 6 months in all other cases.

How to apply for an Extension of Time Application

  • On every planning permission there is a condition giving the number of years by which the permission will expire unless it has begun and it is possible to apply to extend this period at any point up until the permission has expired, but it is advisable to make these applications in good time in case the details submitted with the application are insufficient.
  • If this period has already passed then it is not possible to extend the time limit on the application.
  • More recent planning permissions have a three year limit but older ones have a five year limit, though Councils can now decide for themselves how long they wish permissions to last.
  • It is only possible to apply for an extension of time to a planning permission which was granted on 1st October 2009 or earlier and only one extension can be granted.
  • No design and access statement is required for these applications.
  • Extensions of time applications can be made for planning permissions, listed building consents and conservation area consents.
  • Applications will usually be granted with the same conditions unless there has been a material change in circumstances since the original permission was granted.
  • You can apply using a standard form on the Planning Portal by clicking here (website).


  • Details of planning application fees can be obtained from the Planning Portal by clicking here (website).

How to apply for extensive changes

  • More substantial changes can only be dealt with by making a fresh application for planning permission.
  • If you paid a fee for the planning permission that you wish to alter then you may not need to pay a fee for a further planning application if the changes do not alter the description, are for the same site, you were the previous applicant and the new application is submitted within 12 months of the date of the submission of the previous application.