Backlash over proposed Scottish planning fee rise



Scottish housebuilders have voiced their opposition to a proposed increase in the maximum fee level for planning applications.

The Scottish government plans to increase the maximum fee level for planning applications to £125,000.

However, industry body Homes for Scotland believes there is no proposal to ring-fence the extra income and no mechanism to guarantee that the performance of the planning system will improve.

“We do not object to the principle of reviewing and increasing fees, but in recent months the average decision time for major housing applications has been 48.5 weeks – more than three times the statutory period of 16 weeks,” said Tammy Adams, director of planning at Homes for Scotland.

“This is disastrously slow and does not include the likes of negotiating Section 75 Agreements or road construction consents.”

Tammy added that the slowness of Scotland’s planning system worked against the common goal of all those who want to increase the delivery of much-needed homes and said its members felt that it has never been harder to get homes built.

“As no evidence has been provided to suggest the planning fee is the root cause of poor performance, or that the increase now proposed will guarantee a material improvement to applicants, we cannot support the measures currently being put forward.

“Homes for Scotland is ready and willing to engage positively with the Scottish government and other stakeholders on how a stronger and more supportable package of measures can be put together to improve planning performance and justify a review of planning fees.

“We will therefore be requesting a meeting with officials and ministers as soon as this consultation closes.”


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