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CHANGES TO PLANNING APPLICATION FEES ANNOUNCED BY CURRY

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Planning applicants are to meet more of the costs of determining their planning applications with rises in fees cha...
Planning applicants are to meet more of the costs of determining their planning applications with rises in fees charged by local authorities, Planning Minister David Curry announced today.

The increases in fees are part of a move to ensure that local council tax payers do not have to pay for this service. Mr Curry also announced that the Government would be bringing forward legislation to allow local planning authorities to set their own fees.

In a written answer to a Parliamentary Question from Piers Merchant MP (Beckenham), Mr Curry said: 'Fees for planning applications will increase by 15% from 13 January 1994 and a further 15% from 3 January 1995. These increases represent another important step towards applicants meeting the full costs incurred by local planning authorities in determining planning applications. Fees remain a very small proportion of overall development costs, and we believe it is right that applicants, rather than the community, should pay for this service. Amending Regulations, approved by both Houses, have now been made.

'For the future, it is our intention to bring forward legislation, when Parliamentary time is available, to allow local planning authorities to set their own fees. A consultation paper will be issued in due course. My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland proposes similar arrangements for planning application fees north of the Border.

'Meanwhile, I have decided that the results of research carried out for my Department by Price Waterhouse on local planning authorities' costs in determining planning applications should be published. The researchers found that some authorities do not have the procedures in place to establish the costs of processing applications. I expect that by the end of the financial year 1995/96 all authorities should be able to identify these costs, as a prerequisite to setting their own fees.'
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