Yes is the short answer and generally the larger the application the more it will tend to cost. There is even a fee if you decide to ask the local authority’s advice on the submission you plan to make prior to it formally being submitted (a pre application enquiry). It is a fact that even a small planning application for one house can attract a relatively high level of cost. It is difficult to accurately estimate costs as there are so many uncertainties but the costs fall into three main categories: (1) the application fee to the local authority, (2) the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) and (3) professional fees.

(1) The fee to the local authority is the most certain, as prices are set nationally, so are the same throughout the UK.

(2) The CIL is set by the local authority and will vary both within the local area and from authority to authority. It is the developer that ultimately pays the CIL but he will deduct it from the offer he makes for the land. Self-build plots can be exempt from the CIL as long as they meet certain criteria, and if this is the case then the CIL will not be paid. This can be an important factor when selling a building plot as the CIL payment can be very large.

(3) As mentioned the council will charge for pre-application advice or any legal agreements necessary during the planning process. These costs can vary greatly and can be considerable.

Similarly, professional fees can swell your costs hugely, especially if you have to engage several on your project. Architects, planning consultants, land surveyors, tree, ecology, archaeology, environment, drainage and highways specialists are amongst the most commonly encountered. It is difficult to give a general figure for these costs however it would be easy, even on a straight-forward single unit planning application to spend £5 – 10,000 in total escalating up to many hundreds of thousands on a multi acre complex development proposal. There would also be further costs in the event that the application is refused and then appealed.

As professionals in this market we are used to dealing with these costs and we offer land owners a chance to work with us to obtain planning approval at our expense in exchange for a share of the sale proceeds. If we do not get planning permission, the land owner pays nothing.