Government may introduce enhanced planning service charges

The new government should consider following in the footsteps of Historic England and introduce a charging system for enhanced planning services, according to the British Property Federation (BPF).

Historic England has consulted on charging for a series of enhanced services which will allow developers to pay for options such as extended pre-application advice and fast-track listing within a guaranteed time frame, whilst still offering its existing advice for free.

The charges will help improve performance by delivering a better-resourced system for all, and will encourage developers to bring historic buildings back into use, while also safeguarding the future of these assets.

The BPF has suggested that a similar structure be considered by the new administration as part of the solution to tackling the lack of resources facing local planning departments.

In its response to the Historic England consultation, the BPF recommended that there should be a regular review of the free services, to ensure that those who are unable to pay do not receive a poor, reduced or slower service.