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Planning: Fees and Charges

Volume 458: debated on Monday 26 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications and Deemed Applications) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2005 (S.I., 2005 No. 843) to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. (126651)

Statutory Instrument 843 of 2005 relates to planning fees. The Regulatory Impact Assessment issued at the time balanced the additional cost to applicants (including businesses) against the benefit to applicants of a better-funded, more effective planning service.

In the year since the fee increase (2005-06) research suggests that planning fee income to local authorities increased by £35 million. The number of local authorities meeting all their Best Value targets for turning round planning applications has gone up from 19 per cent. in the year ending 31 March 2004, to 64 per cent. in the year ending 31 March 2006.

The cost to regulators was merely that of using existing staff to revise the legislation and inform stakeholders.