Section 96A: non material changes: meaning of ‘planning permission’. Does it include REM approvals?

R (on the Application of Fulford Parish Council) v City of York [2019] EWCA Civ 1359

  1. In my judgment, the “planning permission” to which section 96A refers is the package consisting of the grant of planning permission itself, together with any conditions to which the grant is subjected, whether the conditions are imposed at the time of or subsequent to the grant of permission. An application for an amendment to an approval (or conditional approval) of reserved matters is, in my judgment, an application for the alteration of an existing condition; which is expressly permitted by section 96A (3) (b). The power under section 96A is restricted to non-material changes. It follows that a change in approved reserved matters can have no material impact. In those circumstances, I can see no policy objection to this interpretation. Mr Garvey laid some stress on the statutory time limit within which applications for approval of reserved matters is made. He pointed to section 73, which applies to applications for planning permission for the development of land without complying with conditions subject to which a previous planning permission was granted. The one condition that cannot be dispensed with under this power is a condition limiting the time within which development must be begun or an application for the approval of reserved matters must be made: section 73 (4). Section 96A should not be interpreted so as to override section 73 (4). He also referred to the lack of requirements for public advertisement where an application is made under section 96A. That, he said, deprived the public of a valuable right to participate in environmental decision-making.


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