Planning fees increase: Date Confirmed 


The Government has this week released details on when planning fees increase by between 25% and 35% on most types of planning applications. However this affects English applications only.

Planning Fees increase

The fees increase will take place from 6th December 2023.  Major applications will see a 35% increase, whereas all other applications will see a 25% increase. This means that householder applications will increase by 25%, from £206 to £258. The maximum fee for the largest and most complex applications will rise by 35%, from the current £300,000 to £405,000.

The regulations also introduce an annual inflation-related increase in fees from 1 April 2025. The increase will be at the rate of the consumer price index from the previous September, capped to a maximum of 10%.

In order to encourage faster decision-making for non-major applications, these regulations also reduce the planning guarantee period for non-major applications from the current 26 weeks to 16 weeks. This means that, in most cases, if non-major applications are not determined after those 16 weeks and no extension has been agreed, the applicant would be entitled to a full refund of their planning application fee.

The Government reckons that these planning application fee increases will raise an additional £65 million for local authorities. However the money is not being formally ring-fenced for the planning departments. The Government claims that legislation already exists for planning fees to be used for the function of determining planning applications. Whether we will actually see more staff available to process applications remains to be seen.


Removal of the ‘Free Go’


In addition, the regulations remove the existing fee exemption, which allows applicants, in certain circumstances, to submit a second application without paying a fee. This is commonly known as the “free go”. 

On any valid applications submitted on or before 5th December 2023, the 12 month period still exists. Any applications submitted after this date, there is no free go.

With the removal of the free-go, will we see developers not deciding to withdraw applications and resubmit? Instead they may opt to let the application run its course and then go to an appeal. Afterall what do they have to lose? 


How the fees increase affects different applications


We have listed below a few common fees that are to be charged from 6th December 2023. Note that these fees will rise again on 1st April 2025 by up to 10% and annually thereafter.

Householder Applications £258
Outline Applications (dwellinghouses) £578 for each 0.1ha to 0.5ha
£624 for each 0.1ha to 2.5ha
£15,433 + £186 for each 0.1ha beyond 2.5 ha (max fee £202,500)
Outline Applications (not dwellinghouses) £578 for each 0.1ha to 1ha
£624 for each 0.1ha to 2.5ha
£15,433 + £186 for each 0.1ha beyond 2.5 ha (max fee £202,500)
Full applications £258 Single dwellinghouse
£509 Two or more dwellinghouses
Lawful Development Certificate
Existing Use or operation
Proposed Use or operation
Same as the full application fee
Half the normal planning fee
Larger Homes Extension (Class A) £120
Additional storeys on a home (Class AA) £120
Agricultural Buildings etc (Part 6) £120
Class MA Applications £125 per dwellinghouse
Class G Applications £120
Class Q agricultural applications  £120 or
£258 if it includes building operations
Airspace developments under Part 20 £418 per dwelling house (up to 9)
£451 per dwelling house (between 10 and 50)
£22.309 + £125 per dwelling house in excess of 50
(maximum fee £405,000)
Reserved Matters following outline planning Full fee or if already paid £578
Removal or variation of a condition £293
Discharge of a condition £43 (householder)
£145 (all others)
Non-material Amendment £43 (householder)
£145 (all others)
Permission in Principle £503 per 0.1ha

The full list of updated fees will be published to Planning Geek soon. This page will be updated once live.


Applications where no fee currently exists

There are still a few cases where no fee is payable to the local authority and therefore no fees increase. These are: Listed building consent; Relevant demolition in a Conservation Area,; Works to trees covered by a TPO or in a Conservation Area; Hedgerow removal notice.

In addition to the above no fee is payable for works to a dwellinghouse or the within the curtilage for means of access to or within it for a disabled person who is resident in it, or is proposing to take up residence in it; or facilities designed to secure that person’s greater safety, health or comfort. 

Likewise works to a building to provide disabled access to which members of the public are admitted is also exempt form any fees.


In Summary


The published regulations do the following:

  • Increase planning application fees by 35% for applications for major development and 25% for all other applications.
  • Introduce an annual indexation of planning applications fees, capped at 10%, from 1 April 2025.
  • Remove the fee exemption for repeat applications (the ‘free-go’). An applicant will still be able to benefit from a free-go if their application was withdrawn or refused in the preceding 12 months, subject to all other conditions for the free-go being met.
  • Reduce the Planning Guarantee for non-major planning applications from 26 to 16 weeks.
  • Introduce a new prior approval fee of £120 for applications for prior approval for development by the Crown on closed defence sites.

The new fees will come into force from the start of 6th December 2023.

An applicant will still be able to benefit from a free-go if their application has been refused or withdrawn in the preceding 12 months, subject to all other conditions for the free-go being met.
The published regulations can be viewed here for the planning fees increase.



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Planning Fees increase Page updated: 20th November 2023