Consultation on planning charges bid

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Fenland District Council could be introducing charges for people who are seeking planning advice prior to submitting formal applications.

The council has now launched a six-week consultation on proposal, which if approved could be introduced next April.

FDC recently agreed to establish a shared planning service with Peterborough City Council and the proposed fees replicate those charged by Peterborough.

The target response times – 21 days for a minor proposal and 42 days for a major scheme – also mirror Peterborough’s.

Cllr Will Sutton, cabinet member responsible for planning, said: “The principle of charging for planning advice is nationally well established and has been embraced by other local planning authorities in Cambridgeshire.

“At present we do not charge for pre-application advice, which is both expensive and time- consuming in terms of officer time. It is not a cost that is met by the planning fee.

“Introducing a pre-application charge will help to ensure that adequate resource is provided and that potential applicants get quality advice in good time.”

Full details of the proposed changes are available at www.fenland.gov.uk/preappconsultation.

To comment, email planning@fenland.gov.uk or write to Development Services, Fenland District Council, County Road, March, Cambs PE15 8NQ. All responses must be in by December 4.