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Planning Permission: Fees and Charges

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 11th June 2009.

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Photo of Roger Williams Roger Williams Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether planning authorities are able to exempt educational and charitable organisations from planning fees in order to encourage sustainable development.

Photo of Ian Austin Ian Austin Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (West Midlands), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Local planning authorities are unable to exempt educational and charitable organisations from planning fees. Planning permission is normally given in relation to the land to which it relates, and there is no guarantee that the successful applicant will be the one to implement the permission. Only in very exceptional instances is permission given that is personal and exclusive to an individual or corporate applicant, with a presumption that it will come to an end if the land ownership changes.

Accordingly, the planning system does not offer any special rate, as such, for applications it receives from charities or educational organisations, and there are no plans at present to change this. There are two exceptions to the above: certain works to improve access to buildings for disabled people are exempt from planning fees, and applications from non-profit-making sport or recreational organisations to carry out certain works and changes of use at sports grounds are liable to pay only at a concessionary rate.

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