So your planning permission has been granted, congratulations!
This is usually an exacting process where you and your architect worked closely to deliver plans that you loved and would be passed by the local authority. But nothing is ever set in stone.
Sometimes, you change your mind after speaking to friends and family or you have to seek approval for minor modification because little details arise after starting the construction. But starting again and submitting a whole new planning permission application would be a waste of your time and money.
There must be an easier way?
Yes, it’s possible to make changes to existing planning permission and our handy guide below will show you the easiest ways to make amendments after receiving planning permission.
Every planning permission decision will be granted for a specified period of time. When this time is up, you will need to submit a new application and no one wants to do that!
The good news is there is a process for making small changes to planning permission that will not have a major impact on your project. For example, moving a window on an extension further along a wall which does not relate to material planning considerations, i.e. overlooking and loss of privacy. This can be amended with a Non-Material Amendment Application to your council.
This simple solution means you can make small changes to an extension, conversion or new build without the hassle of going through the planning process all over again. The Non-Material Amendment application gives you the power to think about the permission you were granted and see if it all makes sense. On reflection there might be small parts of the design that you want to amend. This could be for a number of reasons, namely:
The process might be drawn out but the fact that you can make small changes to planning permission fairly easily puts you in control of the situation. So if anything needs to be changed then, be reassured that you can always submit an application with your architects’ assistance and have a good chance of success.
However, the changes you make in a Non-Material Amendment must not go against any of the existing conditions. Don’t waste valuable time and money chasing amendments that won’t be granted. Seek professional advice prior to submitting your Non-Material Amendment and note that if you’re looking to make changes that would be classed as material, you need to follow a different process.
Some changes to planning permission will have a material impact on the build and the way that it is received. When granting planning permission, the council will consider the impact of your proposed building on your neighbours and the appearance of the neighbourhood. These rules are there to protect everyone.
Your architect will submit very detailed plans to the local authority that will outline exactly what you propose to do. This may or may not be passed in its original form by the authority, and from there you will need to make a decision.
If you want to make a change that would be considered as material, then you need to submit an application to change the permission in one of two ways:
It’s important to understand what might constitute a Minor Material Amendment so you can see what application you might need to submit. Remember that a Minor Material Amendment is one that impacts on your neighbours or the neighbourhood itself.
For example, moving an extension closer to the boundary is likely to be classed as a material amendment because of the potential impact on your neighbour. If in doubt, speak to your architect so you can make the right application and save time, effort and money.
But here’s the interesting thing: If your existing planning permission does not have a condition known as ‘approved plan’ then you are in a slightly better position. Approved plans mean that you have to work from the plans submitted by your architect to the letter. However, if this condition isn’t part of your existing permission, then you may be able to submit a Non-Material Amendment Application and make the changes without affecting the conditions. This will undoubtedly be a quicker and easier process – with more chance of success.
If the changes you want to make fall outside of those outlined above, then it really is back to the drawing board. Your only option is to then submit a new planning application to seek permission for the design you want.
Luckily, many local authorities are sympathetic to this and allow you to send in a FREE re-submission. This is usually dependent on the following factors:
Making changes to planning permission isn’t always an easy process. If you exhaust all of the options above or your changes don’t apply to the above, then you have to start again which can be frustrating.
The solution is to ensure that all planning permission application factors have been taken into account before it’s submitted and assessed. When building a new extension, a new home or making a conversion, finding an experienced architect that that can deliver excellent plans that are compliant with planning authorities is worth their weight in gold.
By choosing architects with extensive planning expertise, you will get your designs approved, with additional guidance to making amendment applications successfully if required.
If you have any questions or would like to have a more in-depth conversation about making changes to your planning permission, e-mail me today to find out more.