MPs support increase in planning fees

Posted On: 18th April 2016

More than half of MPs (61%) think that fees for planning applications should increase, according to the results of a new poll.Government Opportunities

The survey, commissioned by the British Property Federation (BPF), demonstrates cross-party support for a fee increase, alongside stronger guarantees on planning performance.

Although the government has proposed allowing local authorities to outsource the processing of planning applications and for well-performing local authorities to planning fees by an inflationary increase, the BPF says this is not enough to plug the skills gap.

Council leaders have previously called for the freedom to set their own planning fees, after research showed it cost them £450m over the past three years to process applications.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the BPF, said:

“The public and private sectors have both been very clear about the need for more resourcing in local authority planning departments, and we now know that there is political understanding of this issue as well.

We are supportive of the small steps that government is taking to address this, but are not holding out hope for any great impact. Some local authority planning departments are simply short staffed, putting those who remain under enormous strain. Outsourcing the processing of planning applications is likely to relieve this burden to an extent, but it is not going to solve the chronic shortage of skills and resource that is the true problem.”

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