Planning Fees Update November 2023

Planning Fees, BuildtoPlans

Planning Fees Update November 2023

Details of the planning application fee increase on 6th December 2023 by Planning Portal Content Team

Legislative amendments to increase planning application fees in England have now been formally “made” and will take effect on 6th December 2023.

The main points affecting how fees are calculated on Planning Portal are that: 

  • application for planning fees in England will be increasing by 25% across the board, which will rise to 35% for major schemes based on the legislative interpretation of ‘major development’.
  • the provision for a ‘free go’ on application resubmissions in England will also be removed, but individual applications that were already eligible for a free resubmission prior to the change (i.e. before 6th December 2023) will remain so. This will see the number of such exemptions fade out over the 12-month period after the amendments have taken effect.
  • a fee is being introduced for the prior approval application required, as part of the permitted development rights for ‘development by the Crown on a closed defence site’.

Separately, the amendment introduces an annual rise in application fees linked to inflation (and capped at 10%) every April from 2025 onwards. 

It also tightens the planning guarantee so that undetermined non-major applications (including householder developments) will be eligible to receive a refund after 16 weeks, shortened from the 26-week period which remains ‘as is’ in all other cases. 

What will the new fees be? 

We have created a ‘forthcoming’ version of our fee schedule document to show the increased fees and related changes to rules and exemptions

This can be used, alongside the existing schedule to see how the planning fees will increase for any given application, and how calculation of them may vary (e.g., based on the split between major and all other development).  

Changes to Planning Portal 

We will update our system when the change occurs to ensure the fee calculator is compliant with the increased values so that users can calculate the updated fees correctly. 

We plan to have an outage at the close of business on the last working day that the current fees are in place (17.00 on 5th December 2023). We will then apply the changes and make the system available again, so that any submissions after that point can utilise the new fee values. 

This is in line with the amending legislation which states that: “the amendments made to the 2012 Fees Regulations…do not apply to…any application…made before the commencement date”. 

Where possible, for applications that have not been submitted, we will reset any existing fee calculations. This will help ensure that fees are recalculated using the increased values for applications submitted after the change takes effect. 

Please monitor this blog post and look out for any emails from us in the coming weeks on the specific processes we are putting in place to account for this change. 

What this means for applicants and their agents 

As per the detail above, applications that have not been submitted prior to the change (i.e. the close of business, 17.00 on Tuesday 5th December 2023), will be subject to the increased fees. 

For users of the Planning Portal, this will include any applications that are in draft or that have not had their payment completed (including nominated payments, or where bank transfers or cheques have not yet been processed)

Our submission notification emails have a ‘Submitted date’ field that can be used to evidence when the submission took place.

Where payment has been nominated – You should inform your nominee of this deadline, the impact on the cost of the application and their required payment.

Where payment is being made by bank transfer or cheque – Using these methods takes longer for payment to reach us, be processed, and complete. Therefore, when using these methods (either directly or via nomination), you should ensure that the payment is received by us in time:

  • Bank transfer– Please allow at least 5 full working days – Make the payment no later than 28 November 2023
  • Cheque – Please allow at least 10 full working days– Send the cheque using first class post no later than 21 November 2023

Please note that these payment method deadlines are best estimates. We cannot guarantee that following this will ensure the process is completed before the fee increase takes place.

Where an application is not submitted prior to the change, you will need to recalculate your fee with the increased values to ensure that the correct payment is made, and fee is valid when received and checked by the Local Authority. 

Additionally, where the payment process has already begun but has not completed (e.g. you have made a nomination that has not yet been actioned), we intend to cancel the process and return the application to a ‘draft’ state. This will allow you to recalculate the application fee and restart the payment process to ensure that the correct amount is paid when the application is submitted to the Local Authority.

What this means for Local Planning Authorities 

Depending how each Local Planning Authority retrieves applications and processes fees from Planning Portal, there will be different periods between the time of submission and the time the applications and payments are shown in their systems.

Our submission notification emails have a ‘Submitted date’ field that can be used to evidence when the submission took place.


  • If the application was submitted prior to the change (before close of business, 17.00 on 5th December 2023), you will see these applications arrive with the fees that were correct at the time of submission. These should be accepted as valid.
  • You should expect applications submitted after the change takes place to arrive with the new fees.

If you feel the planning fee for any application is incorrect, you can contact the applicant/agent (and us as required) to request an additional payment as per existing validation practises.

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