Support grows for rise in planning fees

The British Property Federation (BPF) is in favour of an increase in planning application fees as long as service is measured and improves considerably.

In its response to the government's consultation on planning fees, which ended this week, the BPF said that service levels and timetables should be agreed in advance. The package should also include meetings at all stages of an application, it added.

The BPF is concerned that developers may rush to submit unsuitable applications before the fees go up in April so that they can refine the plan under the current fee structure. However, the federation is against charges for pre-application advice as this would not ensure an application's success.

"An applicant could end up spending a huge amount of money and not get anywhere," said director of development and regeneration Faraz Baber.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) also supports the idea of a rise in fees but has the same reservations about pre-application fees.

Michael Chambers, director of policy strategy at RICS, said: "If an applicant has paid for advice and is then refused there could be a conflict of interest."

The RTPI said that it supports the idea of a sliding scale for fees where increases are highest for the largest applications.

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