Fee increases must be matched by an improved service from the planning system, SPF warns

8 Nov 2011

Policy area: Development

Responding to the announcement by Aileen Campbell, minister for local government and planning, that planning fees in Scotland may rise, the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) warned any increase must be matched by an improved service from local authorities and agencies.

Speaking at the RTPI Scotland’s annual conference Aileen Campbell announced that a consultation will be launched in early 2012 into making planning fees more ‘proportionate’. While the SPF isn’t against increased fees as long as the service offered improves too, it has urged ministers to take into account the full cost of making an application.

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation, said: “We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the consultation. 

“However, we urge the consultation takes into account the full cost of making an application as concerns remain it will not give sufficient consideration to the upfront costs incurred before a formal application is submitted, such as an environmental impact assessment, which can accumulate to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

“The property industry in Scotland isn’t necessarily against paying higher planning fees, but any increase must be coupled with a genuine improvement in the quality of service received by applicants. Recently the percentage of major planning applications within their determined target date has fallen back. Higher fees for a slower service is simply unacceptable in the current economic climate.”