Our payment service (known as FTS) standardises the process of paying for planning applications across all English authorities, providing a consistent range of options available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The service was introduced in September 2018.
The service gives all applicants and agents the ability to pay planning application fees online or by telephone regardless of which Local Authority they are submitting to. These payments are confirmed instantly, allowing the application to be submitted.
As part of this, the Nominate option (previously known as Payment ReDirect) was made available as a standard payment method for all Local Authorities in England, allowing you to nominate other people to pay planning application fees online (e.g. your client or finance department).
For larger fees, bank transfers will be available and we will still accept payments by cheque as a fall-back option to cover existing processes. For these methods, the payment will need to be confirmed by us before the application is submitted to the Local Authority.
This helps resolve the current issue where around 25 per cent of applications are invalid on receipt due to missing payments. Our service will ensure that payment has been confirmed, regardless of method, before the application is made available to the Local Authority.
Therefore authorities will be able to begin validation of your applications as soon as they receive them, saving time spent chasing payments.
Our service charge
All applications submitted through the Planning Portal which attract a planning fee of £60 or more to be paid will use our payment service. The service charge for this is £23.33 (+ VAT).
The income from the service charge will be retained by the Planning Portal to cover the costs of delivering the payment service, to invest in improving the planning application service and to put the business on a secure financial footing in order to continue to deliver our services, content and interactive guidance.
This concept of adding value, and not just an arbitrary charge, is a key tenet of our business model.
As part of this, we are committed to a roadmap of improvements that will:
- keep our services current and compliant
- allow an increasing range of consent types to be applied for online
- enhance all aspects of the process, from collaborative working and professional functions to supporting documentation and management of local level requirements
- increase the quality of our data outputs for Local Authorities, professional users and applicants
As dictated by legislation, all refunds must be issued directly by the party that received payment, to the payee via the same payment method.
We will therefore manage the process of issuing refunds based on confirmation from the Local Authority that one is due.
We will make a refund to the original payment card or via bank transfer; and in accordance with relevant legislation and regulations such as The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.
If you believe a refund is due, you should discuss it with the Local Authority who, in turn, will arrange it with us.