A one-off increase in planning application fees in England has been announced by Government. This will amount to around 20 % on average, the first time they have gone up since 2012.
New fee regulations will be needed to make this change come into force. However, as yet, the exact date for these is uncertain. Since the necessary legislation is unlikely to be published until after the parliamentary summer recess, they are unlikely to take effect until the Autumn 2017 at the earliest.
Justifying the increase, decentralisation Minister Greg Clark said in a Written Statement that ; “ The planning application fee is a relatively small component of the costs of any development …most councils are experiencing a shortfall in fee income, which is failing to meet the costs of deciding planning applications, which, in turn, has to be subsidised by ordinary taxpayers…”.
The announcement stops short though of previous proposals that would have allowed councils to set fees locally. A consultation on this was launched in November 2010, with the aim of ensuring that planning authorities covered their costs. This recent announcement of an across the board nationwide fee hike suggests that this more flexible approach has been put on the back burner for now
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