Planning and Housing

01.09.17

Councils call for DCLG to lift planning fees freeze

Local government leaders have ramped up the pressure on the government to urgently bring forward its Housing White Paper commitment to allow councils to increase planning fees.

The LGA has also called for a fair and transparent scheme of local fee setting, to allow councils to recover actual costs.

Nationally-set planning fees were last increased in 2012, and the LGA claims that since then local communities have footed the bill for as much as a third of all planning applications.

Currently, councils are prevented from recovering the full cost of processing the 500,000 planning applications they receive each year. And analysis by the LGA suggests the bill for local taxpayers to cover the cost of planning applications is growing at a rate of around £200m a year and will reach £1bn by 2022.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA housing spokesman, said: “Councils are working flat-out to approve almost nine in 10 planning applications, with the majority processed quickly. 

“But the shortfall in the amount of fees councils can charge and the cost of processing applications is heaping further pressure on the stretched planning departments which are so crucial to building the homes and roads that local communities need.

“Councils need to be able to recover the actual cost of applications and end such a needless waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Locally-set fees would also allow councils to prevent increased costs being passed on to residents, while developers could contribute more to maintain high-quality planning decisions and improve the ability of councils to speed up the planning process, claimed Cllr Tett.

John Fuller, chairman of the District Councils’ Network, added that his organisation has long called for locally set planning fees to increase the capacity of planning departments.

“As this analysis reveals the current level of nationally set fees are heaping financial pressure on local authorities and putting councils’ ability to deliver housing growth in a timely manner at risk,” he said.

But a DCLG spokesperson assured the government is committed to giving local authorities the tools they need to drive new housing and build the right homes in the right places.

“All councils have now accepted the 20% planning fee increase announced in the Housing White Paper, and we are introducing regulations this autumn,” they added.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

Midlands council saved £1.5m through combatting tenancy fraud

21/06/2018Midlands council saved £1.5m through combatting tenancy fraud

Tenancy fraud cost Solihull Council almost £1.58m last year, according to recent figures. A report presented to the council’s audit ... more >
Local government funding cuts threaten half of bus routes

21/06/2018Local government funding cuts threaten half of bus routes

Almost half of all bus routes in England are under threat due to partial or incomplete subsidies from councils, the Local Government Association (L... more >
London council demands credit card details by email

21/06/2018London council demands credit card details by email

A London council is reviewing its data protection precautions after it was revealed that residents were told to share payment card detail via email... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Midlands council saved £1.5m through combatting tenancy fraud

21/06/2018Midlands council saved £1.5m through combatting tenancy fraud

Tenancy fraud cost Solihull Council almost £1.58m last year, according to recent figures. A report presented to the council’s audit committee revealed that, since April 2017, 17 coun... more >
Local government funding cuts threaten half of bus routes

21/06/2018Local government funding cuts threaten half of bus routes

Almost half of all bus routes in England are under threat due to partial or incomplete subsidies from councils, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned. According to the LGA, ongoing f... more >

the raven's daily blog

The work of the vanguards can help overcome the challenges of integrated care

29/05/2018The work of the vanguards can help overcome the challenges of integrated care

Following the announcement of the second wave of integrated care systems (ICSs), NHS Providers, the NHS Confederation, NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) and the LGA reflect on how lessons learnt by members from across the four organisations – that have designed and worked together as part of the vanguards – will support the j... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Grenfell, one year on

18/06/2018Grenfell, one year on

In the year since the Grenfell Tower disaster, the LGA has been working tirelessly to ramp up fire safety regulations and ban ‘desktop&rsqu... more >
Brexit's long shadow over devolution

18/06/2018Brexit's long shadow over devolution

The EU Referendum and the stop-start Brexit negotiations have left a looming shadow of uncertainty over devolution in the UK, writes Anthony Sala... more >
Decisions, decisions

18/06/2018Decisions, decisions

The true social value of procurement comes from asking challenging questions and thinking outside the box, argues Melissa Bell, sustainable procu... more >
Finding the balance

18/06/2018Finding the balance

Douglas White, head of advocacy at the Carnegie UK Trust, evaluates the risk-benefit relationship of data sharing within the public sector, highl... more >

interviews

Data at the heart of digital transformation

03/04/2018Data at the heart of digital transformation

SPONSORED INTERVIEW Grant Caley, UK & Ireland chief technologist at NetApp, speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the benefits of movin... more >
GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

03/04/2018GDPR: The public sector scarecrow

SPONSORED INTERVIEW PSE’s Josh Mines chats to Martin de Martini, CIO of Y Soft, about what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)... more >
Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >

public sector focus

View all News