The Government has announced changes to the planning fee structure. Legislative amendments to increase planning application fees have now been formally “made” and will take effect on 6th December 2023.

What are the changes?

There are several key changes that will affect how fees are calculated on the Planning Portal:

  • application fees will be increasing by 25% across the board.  This will rise to 35% for major schemes based on the legislative interpretation of ‘major development’.
  • the provision for a ‘free go’ on application resubmissions will also be removed. But, individual applications that were already eligible for a free resubmission prior to the change (i.e. before 6th December 2023) will remain so. This will see the number of such exemptions fade out over the 12-month period after the amendments have taken effect.
  • a fee is being introduced for the prior approval application required, as part of the permitted development rights for ‘development by the Crown on a closed defence site’.

Separately, the amendment introduces an annual rise in application fees linked to inflation (and capped at 10%) every April from 2025 onwards.

It also tightens the planning guarantee so that undetermined non-major applications (including householder developments) will be eligible to receive a refund after 16 weeks, shortened from the 26-week period which remains ‘as is’ in all other cases.

Whilst this last element on the face of it should encourage Council’s to ‘sharpen their pencils’, it is likely to still mean that applications where refunds are requested are not given top priority to issue a decision, and therefore likely to require a non-determination appeal.

Further information 

If you would like any further help with your planning application, our Planning team are here to support. Please email or call us on 01604 880 163.

You can read full details of the legislative amendments here.

Article by Jonathan Weekes. Jonathan Weekes