Why is there a service charge for submitting planning applications?
The Planning Portal launched the Financial Transaction Service (FTS) in September 2018. This is a payment service that has brought many benefits to applicants and local planning authorities. Since this date, a service charge has been applied to some online planning applications that attract a planning fee. The service charge is £53.33 (+VAT). Applications with a planning fee below £60 do not incur the service charge.
The service charge increased on 2 May 2023, to cover significant inflationary cost increases for hosting and transaction/banking fees over the last 12 months for the existing payment service. It also includes the costs of the location plan feature, including mapping royalties due. Read about the recent increase to the service charge1.
The payment service has vastly improved the process of submitting and receiving planning applications for all our users, but of course costs money to run. This income also allows us to invest in developing our services, including:
- The range of free-to-use content and interactive guidance to explain planning, from permitted development on common projects through to applying for planning permission for homeowners and others
- Free-to-use technical and legislative content for planning and building professionals
- A dedicated customer support team available 9am – 5pm to support customers
- The national building control service
- And, of course, the planning application service itself, including increasing the maximum file size of supporting documents, e-enabling further application types and improvements to local validation, amongst many others