The publication of the housing white paper last February 2017 included a proposal to increase nationally set planning fees. Provided local authorities commit to invest the additional fee income in their planning department, the paper confirmed that they would be able to increase fees by 20%.
On December 20th the proposal was approved by Parliament and a subsequent letter from Chief Planner, Steve Quartermaine, confirmed the fee increase would come into force on 17th January 2018. This 20% rise on planning applications, will see the fees range from a minimum of £96 to a maximum of £300,000.
As we write, there has currently been no further action on a previous suggestion to charge for the submission of planning appeals.
Where will the money go and what does this mean for the planning industry?
The idea behind the fee increase is that the revenue will be reinvested back into the planning services so that local authorities can boost their capacity and capability to deliver.
What an increase of 20% across all application fees looks like:
Whilst the specific requirements may vary by authority, an example of what the fee increase will mean includes:
- Single dwelling application – was £385, now £462;
- Outline application – was £385, now £462 per 0.1 Hectares;
- Householder planning application – was £172, now £206;
- Prior approval application – was £80, now £96
For those applications which were exempt from paying any fees due to removal of permitted development rights, this has now been withdrawn and a fee will now be payable. The regulations have also set out fees for Permission in Principle and an introduction of a fee of £96 for some prior approval applications (those introduced in April 2015 and April 2017).
Here at Plainview whilst we hope that this change will address any concerns that local planning authorities have in regards of not being able to distribute an effective service, we continue to feel that the proposed increase to planning fees will only be worthwhile if, through careful management, the extra fees result in a better standard of response and improved quality control from planning departments.