Planning gets more expensive

The government is increasing council fees for planning applications from 22 November 2012.

They will rise by about 15% to:

  • £385 for building a house
  • £172 for householder works (eg extensions and outbuildings)
  • £385 for each 0.1ha for outline applications
  • £385 changes of use

Fees for other categories of project will go up by a similar amount.

Increasing planning fees is an unwelcome additional cost for applicants in these difficult times.

The language used in the July announcement of the increase was creative. The minister described it as; ‘uprating local councils’ planning fees in line with inflation thereby reducing the burden on ordinary council taxpayers, who otherwise end up subsidising developers’.

‘Uprating’ implies some sort of reasonable re-balancing.

As for the ‘burden on ordinary council taxpayers’, the purpose of the planning system – let us not forget – is to regulate development in the public interest. The system is there for the benefit of the public (ie ordinary council tax payers), not for the people who apply for permission. The government seems to have got its thinking a bit back to front.

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