This is an archived press release
Monday 31 March 2014
Charges for pre-application planning advice for business development come into operation in the Peak District National Park from April 1.
The move, which was approved by the Peak District National Park Authority in December 2013, comes after stringent Government cuts which have meant a reduction of more than 30 per cent in the authority's budget between 2011 and 2015. Many other local authorities already charge businesses for pre-application advice.
The new charges include:
- Between £100 and £1,000 for advice on open-market housing applications, depending on the number of homes
- £45 per hour for advice on large developments, such as hotels, industrial or commercial schemes
- £100 for most agricultural developments
- Between £100 and £250 for minor commercial proposals such as change of use or telecomms installations. If advice is needed beyond a meeting and report, it would be charged at £45 an hour
- £100 for advice on proposed advertisement billboards or signs
- £100 for advice on minor developments which need prior approval but no longer need planning permission, such as changes of use from offices to housing and agricultural buildings to some commercial uses.
The full schedule is available on the Authority's website at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/planning/advice
Pre-application advice to householders for changes to domestic properties will continue to be free – these account for more than a third of applications in the national park. Advice on listed building works will also still be free.
Businesses now have the option of entering a Planning Performance Agreement with the Authority. These are usually for major proposals where the planning authority, developer and key interested parties agree to work together through the planning process, setting their own timetable and ironing out potential problems as they arise.
Payments for these will be set on a case by case basis.
Director of planning John Scott said: "It makes sense for developers to pay for specialist advice that is tailored to their particular scheme and on which they can rely to help them achieve an application that is more likely to be approved.
"It also makes sense for us in terms of encouraging developments that are beneficial for the national park. Charging businesses and developers for pre-application advice will still not cover our costs, but it will help us to operate a high quality planning service in a time of severe budget cuts.
"The charges will normally be a relatively small part of the cost of any development and it is fairer that the developer should cover some of this cost rather than it coming from general funding."