The government is considering allowing high performing councils to increase their planning application fees…
A consultation is underway to consider whether high performing planning teams should be afforded the opportunity to increase planning application fees.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark announced the decision in parliament last week, stating that “well-performing councils” may be allowed to “increase their fees in line with inflation at the most, provided that the revenue reduces the cross-subsidy the planning function currently gets from other council tax payers”.
The consultation follows an amendment put forward in the Housing and Planning Bill last month that would simplify the process for setting fees. An impact assessment accompanying amendments to the Bill said this would prevent “future action to link fees more effectively to local standards of performance” from being delayed.
“Competition is expected to create a more diversified offer in terms of the speed and fee of services available to planning applicants, for example, approved providers and local planning authorities participating in pilot schemes may offer a guarantee to process planning applications more quickly in return for a higher fee (a ‘fast-track’ service)”, said the assessment.
“It could increase costs for some applicants and it could be that some applicants for planning permission may not be able to pay for any premium service which is offered.”
The government is also seeking to introduce pilot schemes to enable a third party chosen by the developer to process planning applications. It is hoped this will speed up the process.