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Summary: Draft legislation for planning application fees and developer contributions

by on June 27, 2019

Planning application fees

The draft legislation seeks to make two changes.

Firstly, it will remove the regulation that would have caused the main fees legislation to expire in November. This averts the prospect of all planning applications becoming free of charge at that point.

Secondly, based on the consultation response on permitted development rights, it will introduce a £96 fee for the prior approval application required for larger home extensions under Schedule 2; Part 1; Class A of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended).

With the permitted development right in regard to larger home extensions being made permanent and latest government statistics showing that over 70 per cent of all prior approval applications are of this type, this sets the fee in line with similar procedures for other permitted changes of use.

The legislation is subject to parliamentary approval, and is currently making its way through that process.

We will communicate further details of when the fee will take effect once this date is confirmed.

Developer contributions

Government published a response to their most recent consultation on developer contributions earlier this month.

This, alongside the draft legislation to which it relates, proposes “to make developer contributions through CIL and planning obligations fairer and more effective, as well as to make their application more transparent.”

While around half of local authorities currently charge, the changes look to simplify the process of putting a charging schedule in place (or revising an existing one), the aim being to encourage further adoption of the levy.

Separately, measures to better consider the effects of ceasing to charge are also included, to promote continued use of CIL once in place.

They also look to free up the current restrictions on ‘pooling’ contributions for single infrastructure projects, to allow more flexibility when allocating funding.

With this, comes the requirement that local authorities make details of allocations transparent through the yearly publication of ‘infrastructure funding statements’.

In regard to the amounts charged, the proposed changes to the way CIL rates are indexed will not be taken forward. However, it does ensure that any amendment to a planning consent that alter the development’s CIL liabilities are based on the rates that applied at the time of the original permission and at the time of the amendment, rather than simply being recalculated at the latest rate.

It also reduces the “disproportionate” penalties for late submission of ‘Commencement Notices’ (which inform the local authority when development will begin) where exemptions and/or relief from CIL apply, and will also confirm that these notices are not required for exempt residential extensions.

The legislation is subject to parliamentary approval, and is currently making its way through that process.

We will communicate further details of when it will take effect (and any changes we are making to our forms and guidance) once this date is confirmed.

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