Planning Portal

Angela Smith Announces Planning Fees Increase

Published on Thu, 25 Mar 2004
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Angela Smith, MP, today announced a ten percent increase in planning fees to take effect from 12 April 2004.
Angela Smith said: "The Planning Service is expected to recover the cost of processing planning applications through planning fees. At the moment we do not fully recover those costs. This increase, which is in line with recent increases in Scotland and Wales will go some way towards bridging the gap between the cost of processing planning applications and the income received.
"The increase is necessary to address price inflation affecting the Planning Service’s costs and to fund additional staff needed to cope with the workload of planning applications which has been increasing year on year since the mid 1990s. It will also contribute to the Planning Service's ongoing modernisation of planning processes to provide a better service to its customers."

Notes to Editors

  1. Planning Fees recover the costs incurred in processing planning applications. The costs currently 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.
  2. Planning Fees were last increased by the Planning (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2003 for the financial year 2003/04. However, the Planning Service expects to recover approximately 89.8% of the costs incurred in 2003/04. Unless fees are increased now, this deficit will widen in 2004/05.
  3. Costs have increased due to price inflation and the injection of additional staff resources to cope with the increasing workload of planning applications. Planning application numbers have increased year on year since 1996 to a projected 32,650 in 2003/04. This itself increases income but not so as to address price inflation and not sufficiently to enable the Planning Service to increase output above the level of applications being received and thereby to deliver performance improvements.
  4. For further information contact Paddy Murphy, DOE Press Office, telephone 028 9054 0014 or e-mail
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