Planning Application Fees to Increase

  • October 2023
  • Kieron Peaty

You may or may not be aware but new legislation has been put forward to Parliament outlining proposals to increase the cost of planning applications. Once approved, the proposals will come into force 28 days later, and while the idea of paying more for a planning application might seem undesirable, the reality is that the Planning System is on it's knees, with Planning Officers facing intense pressure under ever increasing caseloads. So, much like most things at the moment, it looks like the cost of your planning application will be going up imminently but to provide some wider understanding, in this blog post we'll give you a quick overview of the main changes proposed and we'll also provide some context for the new proposals too.

Planning Fees Increase 2023

So, what are the proposed changes? Well, ulitmately there are three main changes:

  1. generally speaking application fees will increase 25% but for major schemes the increase will be 35%.
  2. the ‘free go’ for resubmitted applications following an initial refusal will be removed, but applications already eligible for a free resubmission prior to the change will remain eligible.
  3. a fee is being introduced for the prior approval application required, as part of the permitted development rights for ‘development by the Crown on a closed defence site’.

Aside of the above, the proposal will also see application fees rise in line with inflation, capped at 10%, every April from 2025 onwards. The planning guarantee will also change, meaning that undetermined non-major applications (including householder developments) will be eligible for a refund after 16 weeks, reduced from 26 weeks. Note that the 26-week period will remian for all other cases though.

So what does this mean?

In a nutshell, fees are going up, and while that's not ideal it's been incredibly challenging for local authorities in recent years. They've been working with resources stretched to breaking point and that's provided it's own challenges for us at S40 HQ too. So if the extra fees translate into a better service and a more timely turnaround for our clients awaiting planning determinations then so be it.

It's also worth noting that while the changes haven't yet been rubber stamped it's possible that the proposals might alter. Equally, once the proposals are finalised then there will be an intervening period of handover as the new fees are brought in by Local Planning Authorities.

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