Local authorities given green light to increase planning fees by 20%

Planning-2HOUSING WHITE PAPER Local authorities will be able to increase fees by 20% from July 2017 if they commit to invest the additional fee income in their planning department.

The policy was outlined in the housing white paper this afternoon as part of a host of plans to support councils process planning applications.

The government will keep the resourcing of local authority planning departments, and where fees can be charged, under review.

New funding of £25m will be made available to help ambitious authorities in areas of high housing need to plan for new homes and infrastructure.

This funding will support local authorities to engage their communities on the design and mix of new homes, as well as where they should go.

Government is also consulting on introducing a fee for making a planning appeal.

Local Plans Housing White Paper
The new framework as presented in the government’s White Paper

One option would be for the fee to be capped. All fees could be refunded in certain circumstances, such as when an appeal is successful, and there could be lower fees for less complex cases.

Each local authority will no longer need to create a local plan if they can replace it with an alternative strategic housing policy document such as a combined plan with other local authorities.

The measure has been designed to reduce overlap.

However, there will be an expectation that more detailed matters are addressed through neighbourhood plans or more focused development plan documents.

Click here for more news, views and analysis covering the 2017 housing white paper.

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