With effect from the 17 January 2018, local authority planning departments in England have the right to increase their planning fees by 20 per cent under new legislation.
The new planning fee structures will also affect draft applications already in the system, with official planning fee calculators now updated.
At the same time, Government also published regulations for Permission in Principle (PIP) for minor, housing-led development, which comes into effect on the 1 June 2018. This new outline planning route has planning fees of £402 per 0.1 hectare. The PIP, which can be used with local authority Brownfield Registers, must be followed by an application for technical details consent (TDC).
The new planning fees are effectively ring-fenced, meaning they have to be fed back into the planning service. This is designed to create a cash injection to ease some of the complaints connected with the service.
Local authority planning offices have frequently come under fire for being under resourced, leading to staff shortages and a failure to meet pre-application and full planning permission response times.
Where users are concerned about planning delays, they should contact the local planning authority to see if operates an agents’ panel for users to review the service. RIBA suggests that if it doesn’t already have one, setting one up may be a sensible move, as it offers a way to share the views of those using and working in the planning system.
Details of the new fees can be found on the Planning Portal, together with lists of exceptions.
The fee increase was announced in the Housing White Paper last year, where Government also commented:
“We are also minded to allow an increase of a further 20% for those authorities who are delivering the homes their communities need and we will consult further on the detail. Alongside we will keep the resourcing of local authority planning departments, and where fees can be charged, under review.” Paragraph 2.15