Improving planning processes

From: Scottish Government
Published: Mon Feb 14 2022

New measures to help improve application process.

Change to help improve the planning application process and the service received by applicants has been announced by Planning Minister Tom Arthur.

Following a consultation in 2019 that sought views on reviewing the planning performance and fee regime, planning fees will rise from 1 April 2022. Planning fees have an important role in ensuring applicants, rather than the taxpayer, help cover the cost of determining planning applications.

This is the first time in eight years that there has been an increase to the standard planning application fees, providing much needed additional resources to local authorities.

Local authorities will be able to decide how best to use any additional fee income to help improve locally delivered planning services.

Planning Minister Tom Arthur said:

The planning system plays a central role in shaping the places where we live, work and access local services - and in delivering a just transition to a net zero economy. Ensuring planning departments are efficient and effectively resourced is vital to realising our ambitions for Scotland and supporting recovery.

That is why reviewing planning fees and performance is a key part of our planning reform programme. This is a significant change to planning fees, which will provide substantial additional income to authorities and help to move towards fully recovering the cost of dealing with planning applications.

I expect these increases to lead to improvements in planning performance and we will shortly progress the recruitment of Scotland's first National Planning Improvement Co-ordinator.


The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 were published on the Scottish Government's website last week.

The fee for a new build house will increase from 401 to 600 per house for the first 10 houses from April, with the rate dropping to 450 per house for houses 11-49 and to 250 for each house over 50 up to the maximum fee of 150,000.

The Planning Performance and Fees Consultation was published on 18 December 2019.

The number of applications fluctuates but, for illustration, in 2020/21 an extra 1.2 million would have been expected to have been raised from householder applications had these charges been applied. Income from fees paid by developers or other businesses will vary depending on the size of the development.

Company: Scottish Government

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