Among a new range of proposals for tinkering with the planning system announced yesterday by Planning Minister Greg Clark was the news that finally the Government is to scrap the (dreadful) idea of locally-set planning fees but instead is planning a straightforward 15% hike on the current fees in the autumn. By my calculation this would add about £50 to the cost of applying for each house or flat (currently £335). We will make sure we let you know the date as soon as we have it so that we can rush applications in beforehand at the current fees.

The other tinkering measures proposed include:

New consultation published on changes to permitted development rights to widen the range of changes of use which can occur to buildings without planning permission – one interesting idea muted in this consultation which will be of particular interest to Bournemouth Borough Council is that of allowing C1 (hotels, guest houses) premises to change to C3 (residential dwellings) without consent.

• New consultation published on reducing the amount of information necessary in submission of applications

• Following on from the NPPF, a review of the remaining 6000 pages of planning guidance – details to follow apparently

• A consultation is coming soon on proposals to speed up planning appeals.

We wait to see if anything comes of these consultations or if, like the consultation on locally-set planning fees, they are quietly filed under “B1N”.

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