Latest Public Sector News


Council planning departments set to miss out on £70m by end of year

The government must urgently bring forward funding for planning departments so that local authorities can process applications effectively, councils have warned today.

The LGA says councils will have missed out on £70m by the end of the financial year as they had been expecting to increase planning fees by 20% from July.

The organisation is now calling for this month’s Local Government Finance Settlement to include the ability for authorities to make this rise immediately.

Councils are also awaiting the results of a government consultation to allow fees to be raised by a further 20% after the initial increase.

In the Autumn Budget, the government affirmed its commitment to build 300,000 homes a year by the end of this parliament, with an additional £15bn pledged to housing schemes – bringing the total to £44bn over the next five years.

Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s Housing spokesman, said the government must improve the ability of planning departments to approve new developments if it is serious about its housing goals.

He explained: “The government has promised to increase planning fees, as a first step to helping speed up development, and we urge them to bring forward this increase as soon as possible - the upcoming local government finance settlement would be an ideal opportunity.

“Our planners both protect local environments and ensure appropriate and affordable homes are delivered for our communities. That’s why ultimately, council planners should be able to set fees that reflect the needs of their local area.”

There was some development on planning earlier this week, with the DCLG announcement of the first £11m that would be set aside in the Planning Delivery Fund.

In total there will be £25m released through the policy, which is intended to help councils gain the skills and capacity they need to deliver high quality housing growth at scale.

However, the LGA says councils need to see more control over their own ability to increase finances if the 300,000 homes a year figure is going to be met.

Top image: Rui Vieira

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

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 open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Building a more diverse society

05/03/2018Building a more diverse society

Karl Wilding, policy director at the National Council for Voluntary Organis... more >
Developing our future leaders

05/03/2018Developing our future leaders

Kerry Bishop, apprenticeship and qualification development manager at the L... more >


Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), spea... more >

the raven's daily blog

Apprenticeship levy – five myths busted

05/03/2018Apprenticeship levy – five myths busted

On the first day of National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (NAW 2018), the director of the National Apprenticeship Service, Sue Husband, challenges some of the key myths around the... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

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 feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >