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Planning applications surged ahead of price rise

15 Feb Large developers made a last-minute dash to make planning applications ahead of the 6th December fee increase, according to Planning Portal data.

The last week in November and the first week of December saw a significant spike in planning application, with almost 26,000 submissions. For the last month of the year, 42,028 applications were made through the Planning Portal.

The numbers are revealed in Planning Portal鈥檚 December Market Insight Report.

On 6th December 2023, the government implemented an increase of 25% on all planning application fees across the board, with a 35% rise for larger schemes.

Between the 1st and 31st December, Planning Portal saw a record-breaking value of processing fees, totalling nearly 拢33m. The single largest total value since the introduction of the payment system in 2018, this surge is attributed to the rise in larger-scheme full and outline applications made ahead of the price rise.

Regionally, only the West Midlands saw an increase in December 鈥 of 1%. Most areas received fewer applications, with the East of England, Southeast, and Yorkshire seeing a 7% decline in comparison to 2022.

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Cornwall Council saw the highest volume of applications, with 9,059. North Yorkshire was second with 8,166.

Planning Portal is a joint venture between TerraQuest and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC).

Managing director Sarah Chilcott said: 鈥淥ur market insight report shows that in December 2023, developers made a conscious effort to submit their applications ahead of the government鈥檚 35% price increase.

鈥淎lbeit a positive month, overall December 2023 saw a 4% decline in the number of planning applications made in comparison to 2022. Although this may be the case, we can attribute the record number of processed fees to developers making a last-minute dash to make their applications before December 6. This may have been a fewer number overall, but their value was significantly higher than we鈥檝e seen previously.鈥

She added: 鈥淲ith planning fees expected to rise up to 10% each year from April 2025, we can certainly expect this trend to repeat itself as homeowners and businesses seek out the cheaper option.鈥

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