NI Planning Service Proposes Price Hike

The Northern Ireland Assembly has heard of plans to increased planning application fees by 20%.

Proposals brought forward to the Environment Committee are believed to be aimed at saving jobs within the Planning Service.

Officials told MLAs the move was essential following a substantial drop in planning applications, which fell by £4.5m from last year's £21m.

Committee members were told the minister responsible for the service, Sammy Wilson, has backed the tariff increase.
News Image
Currently a certificate to make minor home improves can cost around £130. Larger scale construction schemes can run into thousands of pounds.

Some MLAs have responded to the price hike, slamming it as another obstacle for the already ailing building sector.

Stephen Peover, permanent secretary at the Department of Environment, said: "The intention is to come forward with a proposal for a 20% increase in planning application fees.

"If we were a business, if the department were a commercial business, I would be laying off considerable numbers of Planning Service staff because we cannot afford to pay for them."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

29 April 2010
Protest Follows Planning Service Cuts
Protest action takes place today as the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has become the latest body to criticise the NI Planning Service's bid to redeploy as many as one in three of its employees.
09 May 2002
Good planning benefits economy and the environment
The economy and the environment can both be winners if we have good planning processes the Northern Ireland Minister of Environment Dermot Nesbitt has said.
23 April 2013
Boost For Solar Energy Welcomed
Alliance South Down spokesperson, Councillor Patrick Clarke, has welcomed the announcement by the Environment Minister that schools, businesses and farm buildings will no longer need planning permission for solar panels. The change relates to micro generation equipment, including solar panels, which generate electricity or heat from sunlight.
10 September 2010
Rural Planning Policy Guide Published
Additional advice on the implementation of planning policy for new dwellings on farms was released this week. Policy CTY 10, which governs new dwellings on farms, was amended to allow consideration of an alternative site elsewhere on a farm away from farm buildings where a justifiable case could be made.
22 July 2010
Planners 'Speed Up' Special School Scheme
There has been praise this week for an initiative from the Planning Service that has allowed the development of a new school to really accelerate. Robin Newton, East Belfast DUP MLA, (pictured) welcomed good news regarding Tor Bank Special School and its new build programme.