Recently, the UK has found itself amid a transformative debate revolving around the proposed changes in planning permission fees. As the government aims to streamline processes and generate economic growth, these proposals have sparked intense discussions across various sectors. The government proposed to increase planning fees by 35 per cent for major developments and by 25 per cent for all other applications, including for private residents.
However, an amendment to this proposal, which allows local authorities to vary fees to fit local circumstances, was passed by a majority of 33 votes in the House of Lords. The premise of the amendment was that the initial proposal failed to take account of regional differences in costs or the challenges with complex housing developers and commercial projects.
Implementing such a significant change in the planning permission fee structure is not without challenges. Stakeholders, including developers, local authorities, and communities, will need to adapt their processes and systems to the new fee structure. Ensuring transparency and clear communication will be crucial in navigating these changes smoothly and minimising the impact on the application process. Local authorities, in particular, are key in facilitating this transition, ensuring that the new fee structure serves the interests of the community and developers. They will also need to restructure the fees online through their planning portals.
If you have already submitted a proposal and, most importantly, already paid the planning fees, then you should not be affected by this change. However, any applications that are currently in draft may be affected if not fully submitted, with fees paid, before the changes take effect. If you have nominated payments, bank transfers or cheques that have not yet been processed, then this may affect you if you do not ensure the fees are processed before the changes come into force.
Each Local Authority has different times for retrieving applications and processing fees through their Planning Portal. As a result, there may be varying periods between the point at which the planning application submission was made, and when payments appear in their systems. If you have submitted your planning application before the fee change, then this application should have the correct fees as at the time it was submitted. Any planning applications that are therefore submitted after the changes take effect will arrive with the revised fees, as set by the Local Authority under their new structure. Local Authorities may choose to ‘take down’ their planning portals whilst making the fee changes within their systems.
At Arc Design Services, we have an exemplary record of ensuring accurate and efficient planning applications, with close to a 100% success rate. We are keeping abreast of the upcoming changes in planning fees and will advise our clients accordingly. If you are close to the point of submitting an application, we recommend doing this urgently so as not to incur the increase in fees. Contact our experts today at Arc Design Services at www.arcdesignservices.net or 0161 928 4433 for advice.