Councillors to consider earmarking planning fees

Councillors are to consider earmarking a 20% rise in planning fees for improvements within the Planning Service.

The Scottish Government has introduced the country-wide increase to address the growing divide between the fee charged for submitting a valid planning application, and the cost incurred by the local authority for processing it.

The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications and Deemed Applications) (Scotland) Amended Regulations 2013 came into force on 6 April 2013.

Members of the Policy and Resources Committee will consider the changes to application fees at a meeting on Thursday.

Councillors are asked to agree that the additional revenue raised from the increase will be earmarked for use to make improvements within the Planning and Building Standards service, according to a report by Head of Service, Robert Gray.

The proposed increase would see the fee for submitting an application to build a residential property rise from £319 to £382, or for enlargements or alterations to a residential property costing £192, up from £160.

The council is currently carrying out a modernisation review of the planning service to ensure delivery of an efficient and effective service in line with local and government aspirations.

An increase in planning fees could generate an additional £360-400,000 for the Planning Service each year, if the current level of planning applications continues.

Additional revenue could help to pay for an increase in permanent staffing levels, which will ensure that the council can meet expectations of improved efficiency.