Charges to be brought in for local planning enquiries

Planning enquiries now face a �25 fee.
Planning enquiries now face a �25 fee.
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Applications for planning advice are now to be met with a £25 fee as councillors agree to introduce discretionary charges.

Scarborough Council’s cabinet voted to approve the introduction of the fee, after councillors sitting on the authority’s planning committee previously turned down the proposal.

The charge of £25 will now be applied to permitted development enquiries, made by both householders and the construction industry.

Leading the debate at the cabinet meeting, Cllr Derek Bastiman said: “I cannot believe that the planning and development committee turned down this recommendation. It is a charge of £25, it is the most insignificant amount of money.

“Other councils are making a much larger charge than what we suggest. Its time this council was run like a business rather than a charity.”

Cllr Jane Mortimer, chairman of the Planning and Development Committee, explained why councillors had previously been against the charges.

She said: “We had an interesting discussion in planning. The amount of money we get in no where near covers the cost of the service.

“There was a discussion around should planning advice be part of what the borough supplies as a service to householders. It was felt that anything to do with industry was fine but it was thought that we should not be charging for local house hold applications.”

However councillors in Cabinet were in favour of the fees, which will be implemented from February 1.