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Planning Application Fee Rise Highlights the Importance of Expert Guidance

The long-awaited date for a significant rise in planning application fees has arrived. Starting from Wednesday, December 6, 2023, major planning applications will experience a 35% increase, while all other applications will see a 25% hike.

The fee for householder applications will now be £258, up from £206. Meanwhile, a change of use (including a new dwelling) will cost £578, compared to the previous £462.

This fee increase will affect planning applications submitted to the following councils: Staffordshire County Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council, and Cheshire East Council.

To further boost the income generated from planning applications, the government has scrapped the 'free-go' policy for repeat applications. This means that applicants can no longer reapply for planning permission for the same site within 12 months without paying another fee.

On the other hand, the government has also tightened the timeframe for the 'planning guarantee' right of refund for applicants for non-major applications. The refund will now be triggered if a decision has not been made within 16 weeks of submitting the application, down from the current 26 weeks.

These changes are expected to generate additional revenue for local authorities, enabling them to invest in infrastructure and services. However, they will also place a greater financial burden on applicants, making it more challenging for them to pursue their development projects.

These changes highlight the importance of seeking expert guidance from qualified town planners. With the increased fees and the potential for repeat applications, securing planning approval on the first attempt is more crucial than ever. Experienced town planners can navigate the complexities of the planning process, increasing your chances of success and minimizing the risk of costly delays and rejections.


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