Planning Portal

Angela Smith Announces Planning Fees Increase

Published on Fri, 14 Feb 2003
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Angela Smith, MP, today announced a 14% increase in planning fees to take effect from 3 March 2003.
Mrs Smith said: "The Planning Service is expected to recover the cost of processing planning applications from fees. At the moment we do not fully recover our costs. This increase, which is in line with recent increases in England and Wales, will go some way towards bridging the gap between the actual cost of processing planning applications and the fees we receive. It will help us deliver the reforms set out in the Modernising Planning Processes Implementation Plan."
Looking to the future, Angela Smith said: "I am fundamentally reviewing the planning fees structure with the aim of simplifying the structure and considering what costs should be recovered through fees. I expect to publish a consultation paper in April 2003, and look forward to participating in the debate which that paper will generate. This is in line with the target set out in the Modernising Planning Processes Implementation Plan. I do not envisage any further increases in planning fees until the outcome of that process is known."

Notes to Editors

Planning Fees recover the costs incurred in processing planning applications. The costs recovered are determined in line with the statutory authority in Article 127 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 and government policy on fees and charges.
Planning fees were last increased in the financial year 2001/02 by the Planning (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2001. However, only 81% of the costs of processing planning applications were recovered in that year. Costs continue to increase and despite increasing planning application numbers and associated fees, it is anticipated that there will be an under-recovery of costs for 2002/03. The increase in fees of 14% from 3 March 2003 will reduce the shortfall in cost recovery.
Planning fees in England were increased by 14% on 1 April 2002 and, in Wales, by 15% from 5 August 2002.
Further information contact Paddy Murphy DOE Press Office tel. 028 9054 0014
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