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The Cost Of The Planning Application Process


If you’re a landowner looking to make a profit from a potential development, knowing the cost of planning application is likely to be at the top of your priority list.

Gaining planning permission is a significant step in making a lucrative profit for your most prized asset—but, like most official processes, there are costs involved.

To help you on your path to success—and know exactly where you stand financially—here we look at planning application fees from a landowner’s perspective.

Let’s get started.

The cost of planning application explained

In most cases, planning application fees are payable to your Local Planning Authority (LPA) via the official Planning Portal.

The costs of a planning application can vary depending on a range of factors including the type of submission and the scale of your proposals.

Also, you must pay a service charge of £20.83 (plus VAT) to the Planning Portal upon submission—with the exclusion of free applications (usually greenlit by the LPA) or applications that fall below a value of £60.

If you’re unsure about specific submission costs concerning your land, the Planning Portal provides a free and easy to use fee calculator. Simply enter your site details as well as your application type, and the fee calculator will return an accurate estimate (this will save any nasty financial surprises when you do submit your application).

Common planning application types & costs

A calculator and stack of change

To give you a slightly more comprehensive answer to the question ‘how much does planning permission cost in the UK?’, here we will break down common types of permission and their general fees.

Outline planning permission

Regarding outline planning permission, planning application costs vary depending on the size of the area. 

Based on this notion, if the area you’re applying for is under 2.5 ha, costs fall at £462 per 0.1ha. When the proposed site exceeds 2.5ha, the standard fee is £11,432, plus £138 for each additional 0.1ha. In this case, the maximum fee is capped at £150,000.

Full planning permission

If you’re applying for full planning permission, costs will differ depending on the type of proposed land usage as well as the overall surface area.

For residential dwellings, anything under 50 homes or properties is charged at £462 per unit.

For a development of over 50 dwellings, applicants are required to pay a fee of £22,859, plus £138 for any additional unit (over 50). In this instance, the maximum charge is capped at £300,000.

You can find a detailed breakdown of costs for less common applications by visiting the Planning Portal’s official application guide.

Any change of use application related to the construction of residential units is charged at the same rate as a standard full application (as above). In the case of change of use applications for non-residential usages, the fee is £462.

Note: Lawful Development Certificates are typically charged at half the price of a full planning permission.

Additional planning application costs

When preparing a planning application, it is worth noting that your fee to the LPA is not the only expense you will incur. 

Depending on your application type and the validation requirements set by your LPA, there may be a significant expense in preparing the application straight off the bat. These costs can range from a few thousand pounds for the most basic of applications through to hundreds of thousands of pounds for the largest and most complex schemes.

A general rule of thumb, the smaller the number of units or floor space proposed in your application, the less the validation requirements should be. As a result, the overall costs of preparing your planning application will be less.

The cost of planning application appeals

person calculating money

When making an application, you may want to obtain pre-application advice from your LPA to assess your proposals’ acceptability. 

Doing so can prove valuable as you can overcome any potential issues in advance of your submission. But, again this process comes at a cost that will also vary according to your specific LPA as well as the size of your proposal.

Despite  your diligence and best efforts, sometimes an application will be refused. You can reapply for the same piece of land for free, providing you don’t make any major changes to your original proposal.

If a direct reapplication isn’t an option, you have the right to make a planning appeal. But, be aware: planning application appeals are often costly affairs and while they can prove successful, there are no guarantees.

If you do decide that a planning appeal is a viable option, it’s worth understanding some of the costs you may incur during the process:

  • Planning appeals will often require legal representation: These types of appeal can come at a significant cost depending on the complexity of issues in question.
  • Preparation & administration: This includes fees from planners for preparing statements of case or any other documents, evidence (usually from technical consultants) and certifications you need to renew or update.
  • Day to day management: Planning appeals take a great deal of work. If your appeal goes down the public inquiry route, there will be costs associated with personal travel, representative expenses, and more.

Final thoughts….

The planning permission process can be expensive and difficult to navigate. But, with the help of a strategic land promoter, you can embark on applications or appeals with minimal financial risk.

At Montague Property Group, we pursue planning applications on behalf of landowners like yourself at our own risk by securing permission through a promotion or option agreement (this will entitle you to a majority split of the proceeds if a positive planning outcome is received).

If successful, all of the money committed to the project at hand will be at the developer’s risk, and as such, will not impact you in any way. A real win-win.

Ready to take those big next steps? Contact us and we will be happy to get the ball rolling.

Want to know what we can do for you?

Want to know what we can do for you?