Planning fees ‘double your money’ a non-starter, Uckfield Town Council told

Charges imposed for planning applications cannot be doubled by Wealden District Council if the application is retrospective, Uckfield Town Council has been told.

Members of its plans committee made the suggestion to the district council after dealing with what councillors felt was an increasing number of “after the event” submissions for approval.

The district replied saying planning fees were a matter for central government.

“Local planning authorities have no ability to reduce or add to nationally set planning fees.

“There was a move to allow a devolution of the setting of planning fees a few years ago, but having carried out significant work and consultation on the matter, the Conservative government decided to shelve the proposal in favour of the status quo,” Wealden council said its answer.

The district said charging a higher fee for retrospective applications could have “unintended consequences”. Applicants, in their defence, might not be aware of complex rules which, “far from being simplified in recent years by central government, seem only to have been made increasingly complex.”

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