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Councils to be able to hike planning fees by 20% this month

Local authorities will soon be able to increase planning fees by 20% as part of a long-awaited move, the DCLG’s chief planner has confirmed.

In a letter, Steve Quartermain said that the hike can be applied from 17 January.

The regulations to introduce the increase in planning fees were made in December 2017, and also include a new fee of £402 per 0.1 hectare for ‘permission in principle’ applications.

In addition, local authorities will be able to charge for applications for planning permission following the removal of permitted development rights through Article 4 directions or by condition, and mayoral and urban development corporations will have the right to charge for providing a pre-application service.

There will also be the introduction of a £96 fee for approval applications to permitted development rights that were introduced in April 2015 and April 2017, such as the rights for the installation of solar PV equipment on non-domestic buildings, and the temporary use of buildings for film-making purposes.

Last month the LGA again called for the government to bring forward its measures to increase planning fees, which councils had expected to be in place from last July. The organised warned that councils stood to miss out on almost £70m by April.

Back in September the LGA also cautioned that the cost to taxpayers of processing planning applications is growing at a rate of £20m a year, and will reach £1bn by 2022 without action.

Councils are also awaiting the results of a consultation which closed in November, proposing additional planning permission charges of 20%.

Top image: Empato

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