The government’s proposal is that the cost of minor planning applications will rise by 25 per cent, major applications by 35 per cent. There will be a consultation phase on the changes in the summer. But from what we have read, the government sounds keen to get this through as soon as possible.
The rises are to help pump more funds into the planning system – which in England alone costs an estimated £1 billion per year to run. Looking ahead, new planning legislation may put additional pressure on local authorities. As a result, local authorities may require more, better or differently skilled people, particularly in digital and design.
The Planner reports that MPs have called on ministers for a certainty of funding before the introduction of any planning legislation. They are also seeking the creation of a resources and skills strategy ahead of primarily legislation, to demonstrate how the various skill needs of the planning system will be met.
In light of the projected increases, you may like to consider whether to bring forward any planned applications.
Doing so could save you money ahead of the increase – and it could save you time in the longer term. When the proposed planning reforms outlined within the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill come into effect, there is the potential that the planning application process will slow while local authorities get up to speed with the changes, and while they train or seek people with the necessary additional skills.