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Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 13th June 2011.

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Photo of Ben Gummer Ben Gummer Conservative, Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department issues to planning officers on (a) the scope of their discretion in considering material and non-material changes in the use of their delegated powers and (b) the exercise of any discretion to designate a change material or non-material.

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

The Department published guidance in October 2010 on material and non-material amendments to planning permission. This document is called ‘Greater Flexibility for Planning Permissions: Guidance’ and can be found on the Department's website:

It advises that:

“there is no statutory definition of [a] ‘non-material’ [amendment]. This is because it is so dependent on the context of the overall scheme—what may be non-material in one context may be material in another.”

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