Big rises in the maximum planning fees chargeable for large developments are proposed by the Scottish Government in a new consultation – but these should be "linked to sustained improvements in performance" by planning authorities.
Planning fees are currently capped at £18,270, £20,055 and £30,240 depending on the category of development. The proposed changes would raise the current planning fees maxima for most categories of development to a revised cap of £125,000, "to better reflect the level of resources they demand".
For housing developments, fees would remain at £401 per unit up to 50 units, but then be charged at £200 per unit until the new maximum is reached. For other types of building there will be a new charge of £200 per 75 square metres up to the maximum. For other types of development, the current fees per 0.1ha would remain up to the present maximum, but a further £200 per 0.1ha would then apply up to the new level.
Agricultural and aquaculture developments would be exempt from the rises.
Applications for residential planning permission in principle would be subject to a new maximum of £62,500, through a similar process of calculation.
Regarding the linking of fees to performance, the paper states: "The fee increase proposed in this paper will provide increased resources to planning authorities to help support performance improvement. Following consultation on the review of planning, Scottish ministers will reflect on the need for further changes to resourcing the planning system and will consider, together with the High Level Group on Planning, how the link between fees and performance can be maintained and strengthened."
Click here to access the consultation. The deadline for responses is 27 February 2017.