Interesting but perhaps of no surprise was the recent dismissal of a judicial review application made by Fulford Parish Council in an attempt to prevent the Local Planning Authority (LPA) from approving a non-material amendment to a reserved matter on the basis of s.96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
The Court of Appeal in R (on the Application of Fulford Parish Council) v City of York Council  EWCA Civ 1359 held that a Local Planning Authority’s power to make “non-material” changes to a planning permission under section 96A did indeed apply to reserved matters as well as planning permissions and/or conditions attached to them.
The crux of Fulford Parish Council’s argument against this finding was that section 96A was limited to making non-material amendments to a "planning permission” and approval of reserved matters was not a "planning permission". Therefore, the Parish Council argued, a change to an approval of reserved matters needs, amongst other things, public consultation requirements to be fulfilled in order to be valid.
In dismissing this argument and the appeal, the Court held that “planning permission” for the purposes of Section 96A, refers to “the package” consisting of the grant of planning permission (including an outline planning permission) together with any conditions to which the grant is subject. As such, a non-material change to a condition would be covered by section 96A.
It was further held that the correct reading of the Act was that an approval of reserved matters was a ‘condition’ to an outline planning application and therefore “an application for an amendment to an approval (or conditional approval) of reserved matters is an application for the alteration of an existing condition”.