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Amending your planning application

Amending your application before the decision is made

A planning application can be amended after it has been submitted to the Council and before it is determined. It is at the Council’s discretion whether to accept any changes to an application. The Council may ask for a new application to be submitted where the changes are significant.

When an application is amended it is for the Council to determine whether the publicity and consultation processes should be re-run, in the interests of fairness. The Council will consider whether, without re-consultation, any of those who were entitled to be consulted or notified of the application when it was first submitted would be deprived of the opportunity to make any representations that they may have wanted to make on the application as amended and whether any injustice might be caused by not carrying out further consultation or notification.

The Council will exercise its discretion when deciding whether to request or accept amendments to a planning application under consideration. Upon receipt of an application, the Council expect it to be:

  • supported by relevant information, with reference to the Council’s local validation document; and
  • capable of being fully assessed against relevant planning policies and determined as submitted.

On that basis the Council’s normal position is not to seek or accept amendments after validation. We emphasise this approach by encouraging all to engage in the pre-application service. Further guidance on the Council’s pre application service can be found via the following link: Planning Advice and Guidance.

We will not accept unsolicited amendments. Please do not submit amendments in response to an objection unless first cleared with your planning case officer. Amendments will only be accepted where there is sufficient time to consider them, which in most circumstances will require an extension of time to be agreed. 

Guidance on submission of amendments and / or additional information in respect of live planning applications

This guidance will help you understand when the Council will/will not request additional information or accept amendments to planning applications.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, we will only seek amendments and / or additional information if the Council deem that:

  1. Further analysis of the case means more information or clarification is needed. It must be needed to complete the assessment of the scheme. For example, cross-sectional or levels details drawings;
  2. The amendments are of a minor nature that would improve the scheme. This must not jeopardise a decision with the statutory decision dates or an agreed period for determination. For example, requiring additional consultation or more detailed third-party expert advice.

The Council will:

  • help you consolidate minor changes ( that result in an improved scheme) into a single request
  • normally, only accept one round of amendments to a submitted scheme.

This means the Council will not generally accept amendments to planning applications if:

  1. They are unsolicited
  2. In the Council’s view they would trigger the need for a fresh 21-day consultation (assessed on an individual basis)
  3. it results in an increase in size of or material change to the application site boundary (shown edged red on the plan submitted at validation) unless requested by the LPA
  4. it results in a material change in the access, layout, appearance, landscaping or scale.
  5. it involves the introduction of materially different uses from that applied for
  6. it conflicts with development plan policies
  7. it materially increases the visual impact of the development.
  8. it materially increases the impact of the development on a feature of recognised sensitivity.
  9. it increases the impact on a heritage asset.
  10. it exacerbates concerns raised by third parties.
  11. It relates to a certificates of lawfulness of existing or proposed use/development

This is not an exhaustive list.

Making changes to your application after the decision has been made

Occasionally you may wish to make alterations to a scheme after it has been granted planning approval. Minor changes to approved plans can be dealt with as:
  1. a non-material minor amendment
  2. a material amendment through the formal variation of the approved application.

Read the pdf Guidance Notes (707 KB)  for more information.

a. Non Material Minor Amendment:

What can be handled as a non-material minor amendments?

The Council will in most cases accept the following as minor amendments to previously approved plans:

  • Reduction in the volume/size of the building/extension, or all forms of operational/ engineering development that requires planning permission
  • Reduction in the height of the building/extension, or all forms of operational/ engineering development that requires planning permission
  • Amendments to windows/doors/openings that will not have any impact on neighbouring properties

We could not accept amendments as non-material if (for example):

  • The application site area (red line) differs from the original application
  • The application description differs from the original application
  • The proposal would result in changes to the external details (e.g. facing materials or roof shape) that would materially alter the appearance of the building
  • The amendment significantly increases the size of any part of the development
  • The development moves more than 1 metre in any direction
  • The height of the building or structure is increased
  • If the amendment locates any part of the development closer to a neighbour unless the development as amended is in excess of 5 metres from the common boundary with the neighbour
  • The amendment results in a fundamental change in the design of the building
  • If the amendment changes windows or doors in any elevation facing a neighbour which increases overlooking in any way
  • The amendment would result in a greater visual intrusion, loss of light or feeling of enclosure to neighbours
  • There were any relevant objections to the original proposal which would be compromised by the proposed minor amendment.

What is the process for applying for non-material minor amendments?

You can apply for a non-material minor amendment through the Planning Portal.

Apply online

pdf Guidance notes (34 KB) are available to help you complete your application.

Useful information

  • Fees if the application is a householder;    £43.00
  • Fees in any other case;                              £293.00
  • No Design and Access Statement is necessary
  • Neighbour notification and consultation is discretionary; the Council will not undertake notification and consultation in most cases.
  • The application is not for a new permission so it will not be necessary to repeat conditions from the original permission.
  • Conditions on the original application cannot be varied or removed through this process.
  • If the amendment is such that a new condition is necessary, then it cannot be a non-material amendment and a fresh
  • application or a material amendment will be required.
  • The application will not count towards the Council's statistical returns.
  • Applications and decisions must go on the planning register.
  • There is no prescribed form of decision, but it must be in writing.
  • The Council will endeavour to respond within 28 days of receipt of the application form and fee to advise you if the changes can be accepted as an amendment to the approved scheme, or whether a material amendment or formal planning application needs to be made.

b. Material Amendment through the formal variation of the approved planning permission

Minor Material Amendment

Recent planning decision notices include a condition requiring the works to be carried out in accordance with the approved plans.  In some instances, it is possible to amend this condition, in order to substitute an amended plan.  Where this is the case, you can apply for a minor material amendment when:

  • the character and description of the amended scheme remains the same, and;
  • the development is one whose scale and nature results in a development which is not substantially different from the one which has been approved,

You can apply for a non-material minor amendment through the Planning Portal.

Apply online

Read the Guidance notes are available to help you complete your application. The fee for this application is £234.00.

Variation of Condition

You can seek to remove or vary a condition attached to your permission.  This may be when you consider the condition no longer applies or when you wish to seek extend the time limit imposed on the commencement of development for unimplemented extant permissions granted on or before 1 October 2010.  A statement setting out the reasons why the condition should be removed or varied should accompany the application.

You can apply for a non-material minor amendment through the Planning Portal.

Apply online

Guidance notes are available to help you complete your application. The fee for this application is £293.00.

Significant changes which cannot be considered to be a minor amendment

For all other cases a fresh planning application will need to be submitted and the Council's full information requirements remain relevant for a revised application.  In some instances, a fee may not be required, and you should consult with the planning team for further information.

Please note: you are unable to apply for a non-material amendment following approval for Listed Building Consent. You will need to apply for a new Listed Building Consent application which should be submitted detailing the proposed amendments.  A revised Conservation Area consent application will only be required if you propose a lesser or greater amount of demolition than already approved.

Further guidance is available from the Department of Communities and Local Government.

To speak to someone from the planning department, then please contact:

Planning Services
Malvern Hills District Council
The Council House
The Avenue
WR14 3AF
Telephone: 01684 862221 - between 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.