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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.
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.”