North-East builders and developers face inflation-busting planning fee increases in the coming weeks.
Specialist planning consultancy JT Planning is warning that regional builders and construction companies are set to face hefty rises from local authorities of up to 20pc on new planning applications.
Jon Tweddell, director and owner of Northumberland-based JT Planning said: “There’s a general shock across the entire industry at how high they are increasing the fees.”
Currently, the highest fee an applicant can expect to pay is £250,000 but that is expected to go up to £300,000. As a result, JT Planning is advising builders and customers to get their planning applications in before the rise – currently set to be January 17.
Jon Tweddell, owner and director of JT Planning said: “We are encouraging our customers to put their application in before the increase. After the increase, applicants can expect to pay an extra 20% when they apply.”
The changes come from an amendment to government legislation announced mid-December 2017. This will aim to be ‘a significant step towards addressing the widespread concerns of under-resourcing in local planning authorities’ according to Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
JT Planning expects this to have a knock-on effect to those looking to apply for planning permission, with local small and medium size builders and developers set to be hit hardest.
He said: “It is going to be the local builder and residents who are going to be hit hardest. Big housing development companies can realistically afford to pay out these fees, but it is going to be harder for smaller, individual developers to do the same.
“The same goes for home-owners who want to build an extension; it may not seem much but an increase of 20% on a £200 fee is just more added cost on-top of other fees such as architects, surveyors etc.
“Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it. We have not had an increase for a few years, so it feels like the government is trying to play catch up, as well as trying to replace the funding cuts places upon local authorities.”