Before your application is decided

The council is striving to make decisions on applications within statutory timescales. This means that we are limiting the making of changes after an application has been validated during the application process. Please refer to Dorset Council Development Management Guidance Note – Negotiation on planning and listed buildings applications and speak to your case officer for more advice.

After planning permission or listed building consent has been granted

When planning permission or listed building consent is granted it only gives permission for the works shown on the approved plans and is subject to any conditions listed on the decision notice.

If you need to make a change to the approved plans or the requirement of a condition you will need to make a further application. The type of application will depend on the change you want to make. Here are the options. 

For small changes – a non-material amendment application (Section 96A application) 

A non- material amendment application allows you to make small changes to the approved plan of any planning permission.  This type of application cannot be used to make changes to listed building consents or advertisement consent.   There is no definition of what a non-material amendment is and it will depend on the specific details of the existing planning permission and the amendment proposed. 

In general, if the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the following questions the change is unlikely to be non-material and you may therefore need to consider an alternative means by which to apply for the change you want to make:

  1. Does the amendment adversely affect the compliance with planning conditions?
  2. Would the amendment result in a material increase in the size of the building?
  3. Would the amendment result in a material change to community infrastructure levy liability due to increased floor area? 
  4. Would the amendment result in increased proximity to adjoining properties or boundaries, where this would have an adverse effect on neighbouring properties?
  5. Would the amendment result in additional or substantially altered windows or other elevational changes that would have an adverse effect on neighbouring properties?
  6. Would the amendment prejudice third parties or their responses to the original application?
  7. Does the amendment adversely affect the character/quality of the original proposal? (for example impact on trees/landscaping/character of the area)
  8. Changes to ground levels constituting engineering operation

The period for determination for this type of application is 28 days, or a longer period if the applicant and the council agree in writing. 

For non-material amendment applications, you need only to complete the relevant application form, include updated scaled plans that clearly identify the changes and pay the fee.  An application fee of £43 will apply to householder developments. For any other development the fee is £293.

There is no right of appeal if you disagree with the council’s decision. Officers are unable to advise if a proposed change is likely to be considered to be non-material prior to the submission of a formal application for a non-material amendment.

For larger changes that are not considered to be non-material as set out in the above

The options are: 

  1. To reapply for planning permission or listed building consent by submitting a new application
  2. Submit a ‘minor material amendment’ application (under Section 73)

This type of application allows you to apply to change or remove any condition listed on the original planning permission/listed building consent, including changing the plans listed in the plans condition so that they can be replaced with the new plans which show the changes you want to make. 

To apply for either of these applications you need to follow the same process as before, by completing the relevant application form, and providing updated plans and supporting documents that clearly identify the changes/that take into account of the impact of the change/s. An application fee will apply but there may be an exemption from payment providing certain criteria are met. Refer to A Guide to the Fees for Planning Applications in England.

The period for determination is the statutory time period which will be the same as the original application. All applications will be considered on their planning merits, in accordance with current planning policy and taking into account site constraints and all comments received following consultation and publicity of the application. 

Consider applying for pre application advice, particularly for significant changes. 

Planning obligations (legal agreement/Section 106 agreement) and Community Infrastructure Liability (CIL) will need to be reviewed and changed as necessary if they apply to the development. 

If you disagree with our decision, or any conditions attached to your planning permission/listed building consent, you have the right to appeal. The back of your decision notice gives you more information including time limits for appealing. 


Non-material amendment and minor material amendment applications cannot be used to: 

  • extend the time limit within which a development must be started or an application for approval of reserved matters must be made
  • change the description of the development by introducing new proposals. For example, requesting approval for a garage, when the original permission did not include the erection of a garage. Increasing or decreasing the number of dwellings proposed
  • extend the red line site area

If I have commenced the development, should I stop work until the changes are approved? 

Our advice is ‘yes’. If you don’t follow the approved plans and conditions the whole of the development becomes unauthorised resulting in a breach of planning control because you no longer have permission. You may be at risk from enforcement action, which can require you to undo any unauthorised works you have completed.  

Also, when a property or land is sold or valued, potential buyers and their solicitors will check the planning history to make sure that the necessary permissions are in place. They will be very wary of any alterations carried out that do not match approved plans or conditions. Picking up breaches of planning control and resolving outstanding issues at the time of valuation or sale can result in costly delays when you least need it.   

What else do I need to do? 

What else you need to do:

More information: