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Minor Ammendments are back and Planning Permission Extensions simplified

The RIBA issued this announcement today:

New powers to extend planning permission come into force today, with clarification from CLG that the option is now open to all types of consent that exist on 1 October but which have not yet commenced. Previous guidance had indicated that minor developments would be excluded.

A letter to local authorities has made it clear that as a result of consultation, the power to extend time limits will be across the board, including listed building and conservation area consents where they are associated with an eligible planning permission. Outline permissions can be extended too as long as timetables for any reserved matters have not been breached.

Today also sees the start of a new right to apply to make non-material amendments to existing planning permissions. The government announced the move in the summer as a way of ending the situation brought about by planning case law that had prompted some planners to demand fresh applications for the most minor of changes to projects.

New applications forms for time extensions and amendments are due to be available from today on the Planning Portal and definitive guidance is expected ‘shortly’, says the CLG.

Fee regulations have yet to be set however, as parliamentary approval is required and this is expected to take 8-10 weeks. The current proposals for time extensions are: £500 for major developments, £50 for householder developments and £170 for other sizes of developments. In the meantime, the CLG says that fees will be charged as if the application were a wholly new application.

Applications for non-material amendments will be free until parliament has confirmed the new fee regulations, so architects with amendments to submit should take advantage of the temporary no-fee period.