27 April 2023

Government’s proposals to increase planning fees ‘broadly welcomed’ – Matthew Evans speaks to Property Week

Planning Counsel, Matthew Evans, has spoken to Property Week’s Ciaran Nerval on how the government’s proposals to “hike up planning fees for developers” have been “broadly welcomed”.

However, industry sources have called for “real change” to planning departments through the provision of additional funding.

Evans agreed that the proposals to increase planning fees (by 35% for major applications and 25% for all others) were “broadly welcomed”.

However, he said these proposals needed to deliver “real change to local authority planning departments and translate effectively into increased resource.

“Local authorities have seen budgets slashed due to austerity-era policies, so to see real change we need to ensure the funds generated from increasing planning fees are ringfenced and spent within the department; without this, any change to the fees won’t deliver genuine results.

“There is no quick solution, but there is an urgent need to establish a long-term plan that boosts resource, improves retention and is closely monitored; otherwise, we run the risk of slowing down economic growth, which is so intrinsically linked to the planning system and new development.”

This article was first published in Property Week on 26 April 2023 and is available to read in full here, behind their paywall.

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