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Housing and Planning Bill - Report (5th Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:45 pm on 25th April 2016.

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Photo of Lord Porter of Spalding Lord Porter of Spalding Conservative 8:45 pm, 25th April 2016

If we are truly about competition, the people in the competition should be the people setting the charges for that competition. Local government will set appropriate fees. All the Government need to say is, “This is the maximum profit you can make”, and we will all stick to those rules. I am sure local government will be able to drive down costs while putting fees up. As my noble friend Lord True said, we will be doing more shared management, and such arrangements will save some margin, but that will still not be enough to cover the full costs of the planning application. If we are able to put our fees up to recoup the full costs, so be it—bring on the competition. Like my noble friend Lord True, I will probably volunteer to pilot a rural competition.