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Scottish government proposes huge hike in planning charges

Published: Thursday, 8th December 2016

Proposals for the fees of major planning applications to be increased fourfold have been put forward by Scottish government…

The Scottish government has proposed that fees for major planning applications should be increased fourfold.  It has proposed a new fee maximum of £125,000 for most categories of development (£62,500 for applications for planning permission in principle).

Currently planning fees in Scotland are capped at £18,270, £20,055 and £30,240 depending on the category of development.

The devolved administration said such a hike was needed so that the service could move towards “full cost recovery”. It has just published a paper setting out the proposed new charging regime. The earlier independent review of the Scottish planning system had recommended an increase in charges.

The paper includes details of a reduced charge per housing unit or per 0.1 hectare for developments over a certain size to ensure that applicants in Scotland do not pay more than they would in other administrations for any size of proposed development.

“We will be considering wider changes to the fee structure, including scope for further discretionary charging taking account of changes to the planning system flowing from the review” explained the government.

It added: “The proposed changes retain the current structure and do not contain any across the board increase.

“We recognise the specific challenges faced by the agriculture and aquaculture sectors and note the extremely limited instances of such proposals being of a scale that would reach the existing fee maxima.

“This consultation does not propose an increase to the maxima for these categories of development.”

Read the consultation on raising planning fees

Roger Milne