Agenda item - Review and Update of Planning and Building Control Fees and Charges

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Agenda item

Review and Update of Planning and Building Control Fees and Charges

Report of the Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture (copy attached).


35.1    The Committee considered a report of The Executive Director, Economy, Environment and Culture which presented the proposed fees and charges for 2018/19 for the Planning & Building Control Service. This included the results of a comprehensive exercise which had benchmarked fees and charges with relevant comparators, including other authorities and providers, identified the true costs of providing the service to ensure charges recovered costs, including central and local overheads and capital financing and examined potential new sources of income, particularly charging for discretionary services under the Local Government Act 2003.


35.2    It was noted that fees and charges for services were reviewed annually in line with the Corporate Fees & Charges Policy. As a minimum, all fees and charges were increased by the corporate rate of inflation which had been set at 2.0%. This was the same percentage by which income budgets would be increased. For 2018/19, fees and charges had been increased by a minimum of 3.5% to assist in recovering full service cost as a minimum and to enable the delivery of the Integrated Service and Financial Plans for 2017/18 and 2018/19. The council’s Financial Regulations required that any proposed increases in fees and charges over and above inflation were agreed by the council. They also stated that it is good practice to report on fees and charges that are rising by inflation only.


35.3    The Head of Planning Policy and Major Projects, Liz Hobden referred to the amendment made to Page 77 of the agenda which as set out in the circulated addenda papers. It was intended that a further update would be provided to the next cycle of the Committee. It was timely for the level of charges to be reviewed as they had last been reviewed in March 2016. The main of change were highlighted in the report and were intended to reflect the level of work by officers in providing advice in relation to more complex schemes.


35.4    Councillor Druitt commended the report and sought clarification regarding some of the fees chargeable where they appeared to relate to new areas of work.


35.5    Councillor C Theobald referred to the level of fees charged in relation to Householder applications and it was confirmed that fees were payable at agreed points as part of a staged process.


35.6    Councillor Mac Cafferty stated recognised that a balanced approach was necessary considering that it was important to ensure  that cost increases did not drive forward or entrench bad behaviour and to seek to ensure that applicants put in improved submissions at the pre-application stage. It was important to weigh up the benefits and dis-benefits arising from different approaches.


35.7    Councillor Cattell, also commended the report which reflected the amount of work which had been undertaken. As some local authorities subsidised developers, fees which were set at a level which reflected the level of work involved particularly in relation to major projects was welcomed, it was hoped that this regime would work well in tandem with the other service improvements which had been made.


35.8    RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee approve the fees and charges for Building Control from 1 January 2018 set out in Appendix 1;


            (2) That the Committee approve the fees and charges for the pre-application advice service from 1 April 2018 set out in Appendix 2;


            (3) That the Committee approve the fees and charges for Planning Performance Agreements from 1 April 2018 in Appendix 3; and


            (4) That the Committee approve the fees and charges for specialist advice from 1 January 2018 in Appendix 4.

Supporting documents:


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