Council to charge for pre-application advice

The City of Lincoln Council on Monday agreed at an Executive meeting to start charging for pre-application planning advice from May 3, 2011.

The prices will range from £60 for householder development alterations and extensions to £3,000 for development of 50 or more houses.

North Kesteven and West Lindsey District Council will also charge for the service, as part of an attempt to provide consistency for private sector developers.

East Lindsey District Council has already introduced fees for the service.

A council report claims pre-­application advice saves time and effort for applicants in getting a proposal right rather than waiting until a scheme is fixed and formally submitted as a planning application.

But the system is said to be resource-intensive, with over 500 pre-application enquiries dealt with by council officers in 2010.

Introducing charges for pre-application advice will “allow the continued provision of a good quality service,” the report says.

It is estimated charging for pre-application advice will bring in £45,000 to the council, a figure based on a 25% reduction of cases on last year.

— See the full list of pre-application advice charges