Veale Wasbrough Vizards

UK 200 2013 position: 98

Should local authorities be able to set their own planning fees?

By Polly Reynolds

A group of businesses, landowners and planning authorities in London’s West End are working to develop a pilot scheme under which planning departments would be able to fully recover the costs of dealing with planning applications.

In a letter to George Osborne in February, the West End Partnership, chaired by leader of Westminster City Council, Philippa Roe, argued that allowing full cost recovery would improve the provision of planning services.

Signatories to the letter include both Westminster City Council and Camden Borough Council, along with local and national developer stakeholders. If given the go-ahead, participating councils would expect to be able to charge higher fees in return for fast-tracked decision making. The additional revenue would be used to subsidise their wider planning departments and allow them to ease the backlog of applications…

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