Paying Planning Application Fees via The Portal
I thought I’d lift the following written by one of our Account Managers Robin, in response to a recently posted comment regarding the process for paying Planning Application Fees to LPAs via the Portal.
Planning Authorities currently have the option to offer three payment options for planning applications that are submitted online via the Planning Portal;
1 – Online payment – this uses the local planning authority’s own payment engine provider to collect payment, which goes direct to the local authority’s bank account and not via the Planning Portal. When the applicant selects online payment option, we open the local authority’s payment engine screens, you fill in the online payment form, the local authority’s payment engine provider checks your bank account to see if sufficient funds are available. If ok, the application fee is debited from the applicant’s account and credited to the local authority’s bank account. At the same time, the local authority’s payment engine provider creates an encrypted ‘payment successful’ message that is sent back to the Planning Portal, which then releases the application for submission. At the point of debiting your account, the local authority’s payment engine provider should then generate and send you a ‘transaction receipt’, this is not done by the Planning Portal. I understand that our development team is considering a facility that will enable your client to go onto the Planning Portal, input the relevant Planning Portal application reference number and pay for it online as you would do.
2 – Cheque payment – If you select this option, you can technically submit the application without payment (although the receiving authority is not oblidged to process it until the cheque is received), then advise your client to send a cheque direct to the local authority, quoting the Planning Portal reference number of the application on the back of the cheque,(address will be provided on the next screen). This will leave you to only bill your client for the work you have done and not get involved with the application fee, or refunds.
3 – Telephone payment – we encourage local authorities to also offer this payment option, although probably only about 30% currently do offer the option to pay for a planning application by debit or credit card over the phone. Where they do, by selecting this option, you can technically submit the application without payment (although the receiving authority is not oblidged to process it until the telephone payment is received), then advise your client to pay the application fee direct to the local authority over the phone. If your local authority does not currently offer this option, please advise firstname.lastname@example.org who will then ask the appropriate Planning Portal regional account manager to enquire if the local authority is able and happy to offer this option to applicants.
In all payment options above, it is the planning authority, or the planning authority’s payment engine provider that takes your application fee payment and it is their responsibility to provide receipt of payment.