MD1376 Planning Unit External Income Charges

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Code: 
MD1376
Date signed: 
18 July 2014
Decision by: 
Boris Johnson MP (past staff), Mayor of London

Executive summary

The Planning Unit generates significant external income of approximately £500,000 per annum principally from one source that was introduced initially in 2007 called the formal planning pre application charging scheme. The income generated from this development related customer service currently funds the employment of 4.5 FTEs planners to provide the service. Operation of the service is cost neutral to the GLA. A review of the service in 2011 showed that additional income was required to fully recover the operational costs of providing this customer service. Accordingly, charges were increased to approximately £4,000 per service request (MD 717). A further recent review of the service this year has demonstrated that developer and professional agency demands on the service have increased. To meet this increased customer expectation and ensure cost neutrality to the Authority a further increase is required to recover the full costs of providing this growing service in order to ensure that the Planning Unit is appropriately resourced to maintain high standards of performance and to continue to service key work areas which include : -

  • providing support for the Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) programme as part of the delivery mechanism of the Mayor’s 2020 Vision;
  • dealing with called in strategic applications, the number of which is likely to increase as a result of the property upturn; ,;
  • creating future Mayoral Development Corporations (MDCs) at Old Oak Common/Park Royal and other key strategic growth locations, where there will be a City Hall lead on the strategic planning and development of such areas.

The purpose of the review was two-fold:

(i) Ensure full cost recovery of providing the planning service while maintaining a high reputation for excellent delivery to external customers;

(ii) Assess the scope and range of fees and charging areas, including mechanisms such as Planning Performance Agreements, for specific new areas of work, notably called in applications by the Mayor.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice