Newark to bring in advice fees

Newark and Sherwood District Council has approved proposals to charge developers up to £1,200 for pre-application planning advice.

The council's cabinet approved the plan, which will formalise existing arrangements for advising applicants before applications are submitted.

Non-discretionary fees will start at £48 for householders seeking confirmation of whether they will need permission, rising to £1,000 for developments of at least 200 homes.

Roger Blaney, cabinet member for sustainable development and regeneration, said: "As well as curbing speculative proposals and filtering out poorly thought-out schemes, charging will provide an income to the council to offset the cost of providing a planning system."

Phillipa Silcock, principal consultant at local government adviser the Planning Advisory Service, said that the number of councils adopting formal charging regimes for pre-application advice had risen in the past two years.

She said: "Despite this, many are still not charging, and if there is a majority doing so, it is a small one."

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