How much will a Planning Application cost?

  • January 2019
  • Kieron Peaty

The type of planning consent sought will determine the cost of your Planning Application and these costs vary considerably. In this article we will explain the costs associated with the respective application type and outline project-specific consultant fees.

Planning Applications

As of the beginning of 2018 the cost of a householder planning application in England is £206. This application type is applicable for alterations to single houses, including extensions and alterations. For multi-unit housing the planning applications costs as of 2018 are:

  • Residential new build (1-50 units): £462 per unit/dwelling

  • Residential new build (50+ units): £22,859 plus £138 per unit/dwelling

  • Extensions and/or alterations to two or more dwellings: £407

Lawful Development Certificate (Permitted Development)

Lawful development certificates are required when an applicant wishes to confirm to the local authority that any proposed alterations fall within the remit of permitted development and thus negates the need for planning permission.

The cost of this application type is 50% of the cost of the corresponding planning application, i.e., for a householder project a Lawful Development Certificate will cost £103.

Outline Planning Applications

During the early stages of project development, you may wish to establish the likelihood of achieving a planning consent. To that end, an outline application can be a useful means of establishing the principles of said development prior to taking all decisions regarding design, materials, etc. 

The costs associated with outline applications are as follows:

  • For sites up to 2.5 hectares: £462 per 0.1 hectare

  • For sites above 2.5 hectares: £11,432 plus £138 per hectare

*one hectare is equivalent to 2.47 acres

Pre-application advice

Pre-application advice can serve to initiate discussion with a planning officer prior to the submission of a planning application. The cost of this service may vary from borough to borough, with no limit to the cost of pre-app advice, and varying levels of service available. For small projects such as a house extension, Level 1 might include written feedback and a follow-up letter for a cost somewhere in the region of £500. Level 2 could may in the region of £800 and could include a one-to-one meeting with a planning officer.

Costs of an appeal

Aside of enforcement appeals, there is no cost associated with making an appeal. With that said, those party to an appeal will be expected to meet the cost of their consultants’ expenses. Typically, an appeal will be carried out be either an Architect or Planning Consultant, and the fees regarding associated services will begin at around £2,000 for a small householder project. The chosen consultant shall prepare a statement of the applicant’s case outlining details of common ground, an expected appeal route and the evidence required. 

Commercial Application Costs

Applications concerning the erection of non-agricultural workplace buildings, costs are as follows:

  • 0-40 sqm increase in gross floor area: £234

  • 41-75 sqm increase in gross floor area: £462

  • 76-3,750 sqm increase in gross floor area: £462 for each 75 sqm or part thereof

  • 3,750 sqm increase in gross floor area: £22,859 plus £138 for each additional 75 sqm

Planning Performance Agreements 

Dependent upon the project size costs vary for a Planning Performance Agreement:

  • £5,000 (approx.) for a complex householder project

  • £10,000 (approx.) for a minor proposal, i.e., ten new homes

  • £30,000 (approx.) for major proposals, i.e. one hundred homes or more

Planning Performance Agreements are normally agreed during pre-app discussions and they are typically utilised in larger projects. The agreement is made voluntarily between an applicant and local authority with the purpose of encouraging a collaborative working ethos and target of managing the planning application process more efficiently.

There are numerous models of PPA and these agreements are designed to make the planning process more transparent, whilst fixing certain criteria regarding timescale and resources. The essential programme item to be agreed is the length of the determination period, i.e., the time period between the submission date and decision date. This provides developers greater levels of certainty thus mitigating risk during the critical early project stages.

Planning Application Drawings

Besides the fees payable to a Local Authority for your planning application, there will likely be significant costs associated with the provision of services by consultants you appoint to produce the requisite drawings and documentation. At a national level, numerous documents are required for a planning submission and in addition to these mandatory items, Local Planning Authorities may have additional requirements. With that said, the typical submission documents include drawings, visualisations, Design & Access Statement and the application forms. For larger projects, the list of required planning documentation can be considerably longer.

Additional project-specific requirements will incur further costs and may include:

  • Basement impact assessment; from £2,000 dependent upon size & complexity

  • Sun and daylight assessments; from £1,500

  • Flood risk assessment; from £800 dependent upon the risk area this you may pay significantly more

To submit a planning application, you might appoint an Architect, a Quantity Surveyor and/or a Structural Engineer and indeed, you may commission a site or building survey. The cost associated with these services is not insignificant and for a small-scale or domestic project with an estimated construction budget of £200,000, it would not be unreasonable to pay in the region of £10,000 in consultants fees, up to the planning application stage.

Although clients often desire a planning consent as soon as possible, it is paramount that appropriate, quality information is provided within the planning application to maximise the possibility of approval. Typically, planning submission will occur during Stage 3 of the RIBA Plan of Work and usually work up to and including this stage will account for around 30% of the architect’s fees.

Further Information


Planning application fees are subject to change, so it is best to check the latest relevant information, which can be found on the Planning Portal for England and Wales. Further guidance and useful information are provided by the Planning Portal Calculator and A Guide to Fees for Planning Applications in England.

Further Reading

How much do architects cost? How are fees calculated?
How much does a house extension cost?
How much does it cost to build a house?

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