The Local Government Association (LGA) is stepping up pressure on the Government to allow councils to set their own planning fees.
In 2012 the Chancellor introduced a cap on the amount local councils could charge. However, since then, the LGA has consistently protested that the current nationally-set fees only cover approximately two-thirds of the actual costs in handling applications and that the shortfall is quite considerable – some £450,000 over the past three years, with the cost of planning applications increasing annually by around £150,000.
LGA housing spokesman Peter Box said: “It is unacceptable for communities to keep being forced to spend hundreds of millions each year to cover a third of the cost of all planning applications.
Government should recognise the huge pressure this is placing on already stretched planning departments that are crucial to building the homes and roads that local communities need but which have seen 46 per cent reductions in funding over the past five years.”
He added: “The Spending Review should allow local authorities to recover the actual cost of applications and end such a needless waste of taxpayers’ money when developers are willing to pay more.”
It is therefore looking as if the Treasury will succumb and that an increase in planning application fees may be imminent.
Quote: Roger Milne