LARGER DEVELOPERS FACE CHARGES OF UP TO £4,500 TO MEET SOUTHWARK COUNCIL – householders face £150 bill.
Southwark council have announced it will be increasing its charges for pre-application planning advice to reclaim the costs from larger developers.
The money will be ploughed back into council services to make sure all residents feel the benefits of development, said a council statement.
“Councils across London, including Southwark, have charged developers for pre-application discussions for several years.
“These meetings ensure that when applications are formally submitted that the meet local planning policies and that any concerns with the proposed scheme have been raised in advance.
“Southwark’s charges have not been reviewed since they were introduced in 2008, but the number of large scale developments happening, or due to take place, has significantly increased.
“The council’s planning team also receives thousands of queries each year from our residents – from a simple ‘do I need an application for this work?’ to more technical questions like ‘how high can I raise my roof for this extension?’ that require a more formal, bespoke response.
“Now, as well as significantly increasing the charge to developers, Southwark council will introduce a flat rate of £150 for the more bespoke level of pre-application advice to householders.
Southwark’s cabinet member for regeneration and new homes Cllr Mark Williams said: “Southwark is tackling the housing crisis head-on by building more homes of all kinds, and we know that there will be more large development projects in the future.
“It is only fair that developers pay the appropriate amount for the skills, time and experience of our planning department.
“By raising more money in this way it means we can protect other frontline services the council delivers.
“We have ensured that simple, day-to-day enquiries from our residents are not charged. However developers with larger, more technical and expensive applications that take up more officer time will have to contribute more for the professional service provided by our officers.”
The charges will allow the planners to process applications more quickly too as the ground work will have been completed through the consultation process, so applications can receive a decision swiftly without going back and forth. (Source: Southwark council press release)
Update: A Southwark council spokesperson has explained the meaning of ‘bespoke levels’ to News From Crystal Palace thus:
The press release refers to the bespoke levels in the previous sentence – it is questions around specific applications that require more investigation and analysis from planners, the example given is someone asking specifically about the height a roof extension can go to.
“The council’s planning team also receives thousands of queries each year from our residents – from a simple ‘do I need an application for this work?’ to more technical questions like ‘how high can I raise my roof for this extension?’ that require a more formal, bespoke response.”
This is as opposed to our more common household enquiries that we can simply say yes or no and refer people to the appropriate page on the website for example.