The following DRAFT new Statutory Instrument, which would amend the Fees Regulations 2012, is now available on the government website www.legislation.gov.uk:
- DRAFT: SI 2013 No. *** - The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (link).
As the above SI is still a DRAFT document, it may be subject to change before it comes into force. However, at present, it would amend the Fees Regulations 2012 as follows:
- There would be new provisions in relation to where an application is made directly to the Secretary of State under section 62A of the TCPA 1990 (i.e. where a local authority has been "designated" as not adequately performing their function of determining applications).
- There would no longer be a fee where an application for planning permission relates solely to development which is "relevant demolition" (i.e. the demolition of certain buildings in a conservation area).
- There would be a new provision that any fee paid for an application for planning permission, or for the approval of reserved matters, must be refunded if the LPA fail to determine the application within 26 weeks, unless the applicant and the LPA have agreed in writing to extend this period.
- There would be a fee of £80 for an application for prior approval under Schedule 2 Part 3 of the GPDO (i.e. "changes of use"). However, this fee would not be payable where the same applicant on the same day makes an application for planning permission (for which a fee is payable) for a site that includes buildings or land that are the subject of the application for prior approval.
- There would be a couple of corrections that are described by the Explanatory Note as "minor amendments". One of these relates to an application for planning permission for the erection of buildings on agricultural land, and corrects the phrase "£115 for each additional hectare in excess of 2.5 hectares" to "£115 for each additional 0.1 hectare in excess of 2.5 hectares", which equates to a 10-fold increase in the fee for this additional area.
It should be noted that, at present, the front page of this DRAFT document states that it would come into force on "1st October 2013". Unless this is changed, it would indicate that any application for prior approval under Schedule 2 Part 3 of the GPDO made during the 4-month period from 30/05/2013 to 01/10/2013 would not be subject to a fee.