Air quality law and permits

Application for a variation of an environmental permit

Licence summary

An operator needs to apply to us for a variation of an environmental permit if any of the following apply:

  • specific permit conditions require to be varied / amended to take account of changes to the installation
  • substantial changes to a permitted process within the borough. A substantial change is defined as 'a change in operation which in the opinion of the council may have significant effects on human beings or the environment'
  • if you are unsure whether the proposed changes will require a variation, please complete the online form and we will advise on this, there is no fee attached to this enquiry
  • the variation may result in a new process activity

The changes in the process are reviewed by the local authority regulator and incorporated into the operating conditions for the process.

A revised environmental permit is then issued to the operator, following public consultation on the changes.

Eligibility criteria

If further information is required the applicant will be notified by the regulator and they must provide this information or the application will be deemed to be withdrawn.

The application must be from the operator of the regulated facility.

A guidance relating to this licence can be found here.

Regulation summary

To view the legislation follow the link The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 and refer to regulations 20 and 30.

Application evaluation process

The details of the process changes are reviewed to ensure that all the necessary information has been included in the variation application.

The local authority officer will acknowledge the application and either seek further information from the applicant, or confirm that the application has been ‘duly made’

The varied environmental permit should be ideally granted in four months from the date of the application being ‘duly made’ for substantial changes and three months for non-substantial changes.

Please note that a variation will only be granted when the necessary inspection by an officer from the Local Authority has been carried out to ensure the installation is operating in accordance with the relevant process guidance note. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us

GDPR Data Privacy Notice

Southwark Council uses your personal data to process ‘Part B’ applications for a permit.  The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 requires us to do this and we do not need your permission. If you do not provide us with the requested information, we cannot process your application. Operation of a Part B regulatory process without a permit is unlawful, and may lead to prosecution.

Your information will only be used by or regulatory services environmental protection team. Your personal data will only be kept for as long as your permit is listed on the public register. However, formal cautions will be removed after 5 years, and details of convictions will be destroyed when the rehabilitation period for that sentence has ended. This is in accordance with section 5 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (as amended).

If you are concerned about how the Southwark Council is using your data, please contact our Data Protection Officer by email or telephone 020 7525 5000.

More information about your rights is available on our website or via the Information Commissioner.

Apply online

You can apply for a variation of your existing environmental permit.


Under the environmental permitting regulations operators of industrial processes are charged a variation fee for their permit.

Payment is made online on completion of the online application form.

To download a copy of the fees and charges (PDF, 78kb) follow the link.

Failed applications redress and complaints

If an application to vary, an environmental permit has been refused or if the applicant objects to conditions imposed on the environmental permit they may appeal to the Secretary of State. Appeals must be lodged no later than two months from the date of the decision.

In the event of a complaint please contact us - preferably in the form of a written submission (with proof of delivery).

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Compensation maybe payable in relation to conditions affecting certain interests in land.

Further information


A record is kept of all variation of a Part B environmental permits issued within Southwark. The information is public and anyone can view the public registers by appointment. Please contact us to arrange this.

Trade associations

Page last updated: 02 August 2022


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