The Scottish Government have issued a consultation paper on proposed changes to the fees structure for planning applications. The deadline for responses is 22 June 2012.

No indication is given about when the new fees will be introduced, but it’s not likely to be before late 2012/ early 2013. Developers anticipating submitting applications around that time should be aware of the potential for significant change in the fee payable.

For 2 or more wind turbines, the proposed fee is £500 per 0.1ha, up to a maximum of £100,000 (increased from £319 per 0.1ha, maximum of £15,950); single wind turbine developments – ranges from £500 to £5,000, depending on the height of the turbine.

For other electricity generation projects, the fee will be charged according to the gross floor space to be created: not exceeding 100sq.m. – £1,000; over 100sq.m. – £1,000+£500 for each 100sq.m., to a maximum of £100,000 (increased from £319 per 0.1ha, maximum of £15,950);

(there are different scales for planning permission in principle, but those are unlikely to be used for electricity generation developments).

A separate consultation will be issued “in due course” for Electricity Act application fees. At present, those are calculated per MW, so it will be interesting to see if the site area approach will be introduced.

Other proposals for planning applications include:

  • cross-border developments – applications to be submitted to each authority and the appropriate fee paid (currently the fee is paid to the authority where the largest part of the development lies)
  • renewal of permission – 50% of full fee
  • variation of conditions – £250 or £500, depending on size of development
  • subsequent applications within 12 months of decision on first application – 50% of full fee (currently a “free go”)
  • no separate charge for pre-application discussions or preparation of section 75 agreements
  • for 20+MW projects, payment of fees by instalment

Neil Collar

Partner at Brodies LLP
Neil is a partner at Brodies LLP and consistently rated as one of Scotland’s leading planning lawyers. He is well known for both his planning inquiry advocacy and his advisory work. Neil has a particular interest in renewable energy developments.
Neil Collar