The HBF has submitted a response to the governments recent consultation paper regarding proposals for changes to planning application fees in England. In the consultation the government suggests that planning application fees should be devolved to local planning authorities in order that they can set their own fees to reflect the actual costs of processing planning applications in their own area. Currently fees for applications are set nationally.
The HBF response expresses considerable concern over the proposals, drawing attention to the problems they would cause regarding the fair and transparent calculation of costs, the assessment of value for money and the problems of LPAs providing a monopoly service within their own area.
We have also suggested that the government reopens the debate over planning application fees in the light of the proposals set out in the Localism Bill so that fees for all parts of the development process, from neighbourhood planning, through pre application consultation, planning applications, legal agreements and post decision monitoring and discharge of conditions can be comprehensively addressed as an integrated package rather than the current piecemeal approach to addressing fees for each part of the development process.
The full response can be downloaded from the HBF website.