The Planning Officers Society welcomes the proposed changes to planning application fees in England. The continuation of the current arrangements where fees are set nationally and at a rate where most local planning authorities are unable to cover their costs can no longer be justified given that local authorities are facing grant reductions from central government that will threaten staffing levels and their ability to assist with the economic recovery. Each authority should be able to set its own planning fees and impose a charging scheme that can ensure full cost recovery as soon as possible. The benefits to the development industry of authorities being able to deliver a robust and efficient planning service that will minimise the delays experienced to date because of resource poverty far outweigh any modest increase in fees.
We would be happy to discuss any of the points raised in this response and provide further information or clarification. Please contact John Walker on 020 7641 2524 who will be pleased to assist.
Phil Kirby c/o Broadland District Council, Thorpe Lodge, 1 Yarmouth Road, Thorpe St. Andrew, Norwich, Norfolk, NR7 0DU