20% fee rise moves forward after regulations laid before Parliament

Draft regulations providing for a 20 per cent increase in planning application fees in England have been laid before Parliament.

Parliament: regulations laid today
Parliament: regulations laid today

The February housing white paper had promised that local planning authorities in England could raise fees by 20 per cent from July as long as they were ring-fenced to fund planning teams, but the government failed to lay the necessary regulations before Parliament prior to the summer recess.

Speaking at this month’s Planning for Housing conference, chief planner Steve Quartermain said that the ability for all English councils to raise planning application fees by 20 per cent should come into force by the "end of the year".

This week’s draft regulations provide for an increase of approximately 20 per cent for all existing fees to be paid to local planning authorities in respect of applications, deemed applications, requests or site visits, according to an explanatory memorandum.

The draft statutory instrument cannot be made until it has been approved by both Houses of Parliament.

The document says that the regulations will come into force "on the twenty eighth day after the day on which they are made".

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "This government is committed to giving local authorities the tools they need to drive new housing and build the right homes in the right places.

"All councils have now accepted the 20 per cent planning fee increase announced in the housing white paper, and the regulations will now be subject to Parliamentary debate."

The draft regulations also:

- make changes so that a fee will be payable for applications for permission in principle

- enable mayoral development corporations and urban development corporations to charge for advice, in their area, about planning applications at the pre-application stage

- allow a planning fee to be charged by local planning authorities where they have made a direction withdrawing permitted development rights under article 4, or where permitted development rights have been withdrawn by a condition imposed on a permission

The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 is available here.

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