Following the Government’s recent announcements on planning, including an intention to bring about a national increase in planning fees in the autumn, they have now published the draft regulations confirming the scope of the changes. As expected, these confirm an increase across all planning fees of approximately 15%.
The draft regulations also state that the regulations will cease to have effect seven years after they come into force and that the Secretary of State will be required to review them after five years to consider whether they should be allowed to expire after seven years, be revoked early or should continue with or without amendments. The 15% increase is said to reflect the rate of inflation experienced since 2008 (the time of the last increase in fees).
Local authorities have long argued that in many cases planning fees fall well short of covering the actual cost to the authority of dealing with the planning application and have sought to be allowed to set their own planning fees which reflect the true costs. The impact assessment document, published alongside the draft regulations, advises that the Government believes that in the longer term, there may be a case for the decentralisation of planning fees to allow more flexible cost-recovery, but have stated that evidence from consultation and benchmarking exercises suggests that it is a complex proposal which will need further working through.
The draft regulations do not confirm the date upon which they are to come into force; however, this is expected to be around the start of October. Check the Rural Solutions blog for future updates.