From 1 April 2022 planning fees in Scotland are set to rise for the first time in eight years.

Planning Minister Tom Arthur has commented:

“The planning system plays a central role in shaping the places where we live, work and access local services – and in delivering a just transition to a net zero economy. Ensuring planning departments are efficient and effectively resourced is vital to realising our ambitions for Scotland and supporting recovery.

“That is why reviewing planning fees and performance is a key part of our planning reform programme. This is a significant change to planning fees, which will provide substantial additional income to authorities and help to move towards fully recovering the cost of dealing with planning applications.

“I expect these increases to lead to improvements in planning performance and we will shortly progress the recruitment of Scotland’s first National Planning Improvement Co-ordinator.”

Following a consultation by the Scottish Government on planning performance and fees in 2019, the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 (‘the Regulations’) have been laid before the Scottish Parliament and will come into force on 1 April 2022.

The Regulations will see fees rise for all forms of application submissions across sectors, including for:

  • Planning permission;
  • Planning permission in principle;
  • Approval, consent or agreements required by conditions attached to the granting of planning permission in principle;
  • Certificates of lawfulness;
  • Prior approval; and
  • Consents for the display of advertisements.

The below table provides a summary of some of the key fee increases that will apply across a range of example projects:

Example Development

Current Planning Fee

Fee from 1 April

Residential Development – Single Dwelling

£401

£600

Residential Development – 25 Units

£10,025

£12,750

Residential Development – 150 Units

£40,050

£48,550

Change of Use – Class 1 to Class 3 (1,000 sq m unit)

£401

£6,600

Change of Use – Class 1 to Class 11 (5,000 sq m unit)

£401

£27,000

Office Refurbishment (no change in gross floor space)

£202

£300

Office Extension (2,000 sq m increase in gross floor space)

£5,614

£12,000

Non Material Variations

£0*

£200

Maximum Planning Application Fee

£125,000

£150,000

*fee varies between Local Authorities

Full details of the increases are set out in the Regulations, but on average, fees will increase by between 25% and 50%, with the maximum fee that can now be charged for a planning application to rise to £150,000.

The planning and development team at Montagu Evans act for a range of clients across the country and are aware of the immense pressure that Local Authorities have been under in recent years. It is recognised that increased funding for planning departments is a key issue and we are aware that there are discussions taking place with Local Authorities around them having an increased say as to how any additional fee income can be allocated to enhance locally delivered planning services. Transparency as to how any revenue generated is used would be welcomed from the Scottish Government.

If you would like to discuss how the fee increases might affect you, or your development interests across Scotland, the planning and development team would be pleased to assist.