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Planning application fee changes take effect on 17 January 2018

by on January 11, 2018

The Planning Portal is ready to deploy changes in response to the legislation that will increase planning application fees by 20 per cent in England, remove some exemptions, and introduce new categories in regard to applications for Permission in Principle.

The changes made by the government will come into force on 17 January 2018.

View ‘The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017’.

What we are doing

We have been busy testing changes to our fee calculator to ensure we are ready to implement the increase for the 17 January when the legislation comes into force.

We can confirm that:

  • We have updated and tested all the fee values for applications in England on the integrated and standalone fee calculators to match the new legislation.
  • We will be updating the fee calculators as close to 00:00 on the 17 January as possible to minimise the chances of applications being submitted with incorrect fees. There will be an outage in the hours leading up to this while we update the service and ensure that the changes have taken effect.
  • We are amending the text in regard to the fee exemption for Article 4 directions (or previously imposed conditions) to warn users that the exemption is no longer valid for applications in England and should therefore not be used. Note that we need to retain the exemption for applications in Wales.
  • All draft applications in England on our system with previously calculated fees will have these cleared as part of the work, forcing users to recalculate them with the new higher values.
  • Users amending previously submitted applications will be warned that the fees have changed and that they may need to pay a higher fee on re-submission.
  • Finally, we will also update our PDF fee schedule for England: on the evening of the 16 Jan 2018, so any existing links to it will show the updated version.


Details of the legislation’s progress:

  1. David hartley permalink

    At this time of great uncertainty, didn’t we ought to be lobbying against this extortionate rise in fees. Surely any increase in fees should be linked to public sector pay increases or inflation.

    • Trevor Dennington permalink

      Fat chance, David.
      Council tax increases are also approved – as if CIL and Affordable Housing bungs are not fleecing house builders enough already and boosting council coffers.
      I really do NOT believe that politicians of any party have a clue about the housing market.

  2. Trevor Dennington permalink

    20% ??? That proposed increase in planning application fees is outrageous and destructive. The former Conservative-led administration of Cameron and Osborne introduced CIL after pinching the idea from Brown and his Planning Gain Supplement, thereby introducing a tax on new housebuilding that has failed and messed up the housing market every time since 1948 it has been tried on. Osborne then compounded the error by drastically increasing stamp duty for landlords, and now this current administration is going to make it ridiculously expensive to even apply for planning permission … whilst purporting to be determined to build 300,000 new homes a year. I now wonder whether our politicians of any colour have the slightest understanding of the housing market – and, before you draw the wrong conclusion, this is not political because it is a lifelong Conservative voter speaking

  3. Tony Fuller permalink

    We do not mind paying this increase if the service is improved. In the past three years no local authority has met their pre-application or full planning permission response deadlines due to staffing problems. Apparently if the LA can prove they are under-staffed then there is no comeback on them if they miss their deadlines. So we are paying for a service that hardly ever meets its promises! Doesn’t seem right to me and what is even worse is there doesn’t seem to be any promises to rectify the problem.
    This situation is stopping thousands of small developers like us building much needed homes. Incredibly frustrating.

    • Tony Fuller permalink

      Sorry, I meant to say ”no Local Authority where we have submitted applications”.

  4. Ms S Lewis permalink

    Where did 20% come from? I work for a small SME and we depend on new schemes for future work opportunities .This is just another barrier to smaller developers and will mean a monopoly situation which can’t be good for house builders/ potential residents or the industry as a whole

  5. The thing is that we often get a poor standard of service these days, very slow registration of applications, planning officers only allocated to cases very late in the determination period, sometimes no site visits, inexperienced staff, part time staff, poor communications, questionable decisions, little discussion, no performance guarantees. This all results in more work and hassle for agents yet we can’t increase our fees by 20%.

  6. Rob Collins permalink

    Far be it from me to defend the government (as a local authority employee, I’m hardly likely to do that), but this will be the first increase in the fees for most application types for 6 years. The fee increase is also ‘ring fenced’ so the money can only be spent on planning services, which I would have thought would be welcomed by anyone within the sector.

    • Tony Fuller permalink

      Rob, that is great to hear if it actually improves the service. For example, we have just been informed we have to wait another 3 weeks for a response to our pre-application submission. That will be 11 weeks from when it was validated and this is for a small residential development.
      We are being encouraged to go the pre-app route and in the early delays were receiving replies around 4 weeks!
      We do not have a problem paying the 20% but if 11-12 weeks is going to be the norm it will deter developers submitting pre-apps.
      This must be causing a huge bottle-neck in the house building chain!

Please give us your feedback but we won’t publish any comments that are not constructive or that criticise any individual, any named business or any local authority. Please note, all comments will be moderated before being published.

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