Councils introduce pre-application charges

As of May 7, 2013, Cheshire West and Chester (CWaC) Council has introduced a range of fees to be levied for submitting a pre-application of a planning development – a service that was previously offered free of charge.

Fees for pre-applications made to CWaC range from £80 at the bottom scale for Category D proposals, to a top end of £1,750 for Category A (Large-scale major proposals). These charges are inclusive of VAT.

It is by no means the first council to start charging for such a service, however. As early as January 2012, Cornwall council began charging up to £350, not including VAT, for pre-apps.

CWaC says on its website that has made the change as it was concerned that the previous free service was coming at a cost to the taxpayer in the region, and it instead wanted to ensure that the cost was covered by developers. Undoubtedly, however, it represents a lot to shell out for a developer who may have his or her application rejected straight away. It also increases the temptation for developers and architects in Cheshire to bypass the pre-app stage completely and submit a full application without taking any advice on board beforehand.

At D2 Architects, we like to get involved with developers right from the planning stage, which is why we are happy to view pre-applications and give our professional verdict on them free of charge. We are confident that we can not only help your plans take shape, but that you will also want to work alongside us long after the pre-application stage of your development.

Posted by Matt Hughes
July 15, 2013
New Buildings

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