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Submit or Amend a planning application

The most convenient way to submit your planning application is online via the Planning Portal (opens new window).

The Planning Portal is a national website and applications submitted via the portal are sent directly to us as online submissions. It also offers a wide range of services and information on the planning system. We recommend submitting your application via the Portal as it is a quick and easy way to make an application and there is online guidance to help you through the process.

You can submit all your plans online if you have the facility to produce electronic drawings and you can obtain an electronic location plan from the website too. You can also pay the planning fee online.

Paper planning application

If you would prefer to complete a paper copy of the relevant application form, you download this from the Planning Portal (opens new window).

The completed form, plans and any supporting documents can be posted or hand delivered to our offices:

South Holland District Council
Customer Services
Council Offices
Priory Road
PE11 2XE

Amendments to planning applications

All amendments to undetermined planning applications must be accompanied by a  planning amendment form (PDF) [321KB] (opens new window) in order for us to process it.

Position on accepting amendments to planning applications

Whilst committed to working positively and proactively with applicants the Council will exercise its discretion whether to request or accept amendments to a planning application under consideration. Upon receipt of an application, we expect it to be:

  • supported by relevant information and
  • in a condition to be fully assessed and determined as submitted.

On that basis our 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.

We will not accept unsolicited amendments.  Please do not seek amendments in response to an objection unless first cleared with your planning case officer.

Guidance on amendments

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

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, we will only seek an amendment under either or both of these 2 conditions:

  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 plans.
  2. Amendments of a minor nature that would improve the scheme.  This must be a necessary improvement and not jeopardise a decision within the statutory period. For example, requiring additional consultation or more detailed third party expert advice.

We will:

  • help you consolidate minor changes ( that result in an improved scheme) into a single request
  • only accept one round of amendments to a submitted scheme.
  • only accept the amendment if an extension of time is agreed at the outset.

This means we will not generally accept amendments to planning applications if/for:

  1. they trigger the need for a fresh consultation (assessed on an individual basis)
  2. an increase in size of or material change to the red edge site boundary unless requested by the LPA
  3. Alteration to the scope or scale of the application, including significant change to the description of the development
  4. Significant changes in the site layout
  5. a significant move or relocation of footprint and/or volume and mass of built form
  6. introduction of materially different uses
  7. conflict with development plan policies
  8. materially increase the visual impact of the development
  9. materially increase the amenity impact of the development on a feature of recognised sensitivity
  10. increase in the impact on a heritage asset
  11. exacerbate concerns raised by third parties.

This is not an exhaustive list and the LPA will be sole arbiter of what constitutes an acceptable amendment.

What happens if you are asked to amend your plans or to provide additional information?

You, or your agent, will be contacted, usually by e-mail or by telephone, and  will be given a short indication of what you are being asked to amend, and why. If you are asked to amend your plans and the case officer confirms that they will accept such amendments as part of the current application, the case officer will give you a date by which you must submit the plans and any additional information. The correct form can be found above.  An extension of time to the statutory decision date will need to be agreed for an amendment to be accepted.

If the amendments are not received by the date given or you confirm you do not wish to make any amendments, we will determine your application as it stands. We will not accept amendments after the date given to you by the case officer or without an agreement to a requested extension of time. Please note that the dates given by the case officer will vary according to the case officer's workload and priorities at the time. In some cases the time period given for amendments to be submitted may be very short. In all cases we will try our best to advise applicants of the need for amendments as early in the process as possible.

Please also note that only one round of negotiation and, if necessary, re-consultation with a consultee, will be entered into per application. Applicants and agents are also encouraged NOT to submit amended plans unless invited to do so by the case officer. If amended plans are received without being requested it is a matter for the discretion of the case officer whether those plans are accepted or not. If you decide that you do not wish to proceed with the application as submitted you can withdraw it at any time before the decision is issued.

Amending a planning permission: Section 73 Applications

You can apply for planning permission for the development of land without complying with condition(s) put on a previous planning permission, under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.  The section 73 application is not limited to minor material amendments and can secure material changes as long as they do not result in a fundamental alteration to the permission.

The Government's Planning Practice Guidance advises that "there is no statutory limit on the degree of change permissible to conditions under s73, but the change must only relate to conditions and not to the operative part of the permission".

Section 73 Applications cannot be used to extend the time limits within an existing planning permission, nor can it be used to change the description of the development.

If the application is granted, then a new stand-alone planning permission would be issued. Consequently, the decision notice will normally set out all the conditions the planning authority wishes to impose, including relevant ones from the previous planning permission.  Although, the previous permission also remains valid.

Non-material amendments after decision

You can apply for a non-material amendment to an existing planning permission. Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (amended by Planning Act 2008) covers this. You may need to make a change after the planning decision because:

  • Building Regulations require a change to the proposals
  • unplanned issues arise when construction or operations start.

Local Planning Authorities may allow small changes as 'non-material amendments'. The benefits are:

  • the applicant avoids the time and costs of making a new planning application
  • the Local Planning Authority can make the best use of its resources.

There will be no:

  • consultations
  • publicity and
  • notifications

because a non-material amendment is not an application for planning permission.

Non-material amendments must:

  • be within the scope of the original planning permission
  • not result in a materially different scheme that has a differing impact.

When a non-material amendment is accepted, it means that:

  • enforcement action will not be taken against the breach of planning control
  • there is an accurate record of the development as completed.

There is no statutory definition for 'non-material' changes.  It depends on the context and is determined by the Local Planning Authority.

Non-material amendment criteria

Each application will be considered on its merits.  The proposed change may be a non-material amendment if:

  1. There would be no change to the application site boundary and the proposal would be located within it (red line boundary)
  2. The amendment would not conflict with development plan policies or other Government guidance
  3. There would be no conflict with any conditions on the planning permission
  4. The proposal would not make worse any concerns raised by third parties when the original planning permission was considered
  5. The approved footprint/siting of the building will not be moved in any direction by more than 1 metre
  6. The proposal would not result in an extension to development already approved
  7. The height/volume of the building or extension would not be increased or significantly reduced
  8. The amendments must not result in a fundamental change in the design of the building
  9. The change does not amount to new works or elements which have not been considered by any environmental statement submitted with the original application
  10. Amendments to windows/doors/openings must not have any overlooking impact on neighbouring properties
  11. There would be no change to the description of development in respect of number of proposed units

These criteria are designed to prevent amendments being accepted that would have a harmful impact.  If the above cannot be met:

  • a Section 73 application or
  • a new full application may be required. 

Please consider whether the proposed change meets these criteria before making a submission.

All applicants and agents are further advised that no guidance note can cover all eventualities but the Council will seek to apply the principles set out above in dealing with amendments, save in any exceptional circumstances approved by the Development Manager or Head of Planning.