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  1. Blog
  2. Planning application fees
Add value to your home
13 September 2023

Planning application fees

Kimberley Taylor
Writer & Researcher

Table of contents

  1. 1. What is a planning application?
  2. 2. How and when to pay planning application fees
  3. 3. Planning application types
  4. 4. Residential developments
  5. 5. Non-residential developments
  6. 6. Erection of buildings
  7. 7. Other application types
  8. 8. Lawful development certificates (LDC)
  9. 9. Advertising
  10. 10. Non-material amendments
  11. 11. Planning conditions
  12. 12. Outline permission
  13. 13. Reserved matters
  14. 14. Information required for a planning application
  15. 15. Prior approval application
  16. 16. Concessions
  17. 17. Summary: Check your planning fees before you apply!

If you want to make big changes to a property, chances are you'll need to apply for planning permission. Your planning application will vary depending on the type of work you want to carry out, where you live, and how big or complex the project is.

One huge varying factor is the planning application fee. From smaller projects costing a couple of hundred pounds, to huge development projects reaching fees of £23,000, it's really important to know how much you need to pay to get your work done. That's what we're here for.

We're taking you through key planning fees payable to your local authority, when you need to pay them, and whether or not you're eligible for exemption.

What is a planning application?

If you want to make significant changes to your home, you'll often need to apply for planning permission. In certain circumstances, your project proposal may be allowed under permitted development rights, which means you don't require planning permission and can go ahead with the development.

A planning application needs to be submitted to your local planning authority who will then assess the proposal and decide whether or not to grant planning permission. You can only go ahead with your project if you're granted planning permission.

In some cases, you may be able to apply for retrospective planning permission, but you could risk legal consequences if you carry out works before your planning permission is granted.

How and when to pay planning application fees

You'll need to pay a planning fee at the time your application is submitted. The easiest way to pay application fees is through the Planning Portal by card, though you can also **apply via email or post. **If you do decide to apply by email or post, you must also pay your planning fee at the same time to avoid any processing delays.

Planning application types

There are a number of different planning application types, including:

  • Residential developments.
  • Non-residential developments.
  • Lawful development certificates.
  • Advertising.
  • Non-material change.
  • Planning conditions.
  • Reserved matters.
  • Prior approval.

Different proposals will have different fees payable to local planning authorities, ranging from hundreds to thousands of pounds. That's why it's really important to know the type of project you're proposing, so you know you're paying the correct planning application fee.

Residential developments

Residential developments refer to any land, buildings or structures developed or planning to be developed for residential use. This can include flats and apartments, semi detached and detached houses, town houses, and self contained accommodation, among other developments.

Your planning application fee will depend on the type of residential development you're planning.

Application typeChangesFee
HouseholderChanges or extensions to a single home or existing dwellinghouse (inc. any works with the boundary)£206
Minor changes or exchanges to two or more homes (including flats)£407
Major (the creation of up to 50 homes)£462 per home
Major (the creation of more than 50 homes)£22,859 flat fee, plus £138 per each new home

Non-residential developments

Non-residential developments refer to the construction of industrial, mixed-use, office or commercial projects that aren't intended for residential use. Again, different projects will have different planning applications fees.

Application typeChangesFee
Non-residentialMinor developments up to 40 square metres increase in gross floor space£234
Minor developments between 41 and 75 square metres increase in gross floor space£462
Minor up to 1000 square metres£462 for each 75 square metre
Major between 76-3750 square metres£462 for each 75 square metre
Major developments more than 3750 square metres increase in gross floor space£22,859 base rate plus £138 additional fee per 75 square metre (with a maximum fee of £300,000)

Erection of buildings

Application typeChangesFee
Erection of buildings (not including dwellinghouses, agricultural, glasshouses, plant nor machinery)Projects up to 40 square metres increase in gross floor space.£234
Projects between 40 and 75 square metres increase in gross floor space.£462
Projects more than 3,750 square metres.£22,859 + £138 for each additional 75 square metres.
Erection of buildings on land used for agriculture for agricultural purposesProjects that increase the gross floor space by up to 465 square metres£96
Projects between 465-540 square metres.£462
Projects between 541-4215 square metres.£462 for the first 540, plus £462 for each additional 75 square metres (with a maximum fee of £300,000).

Other application types

Application typeChangesFee
Car parks, services roads or other accesses.Existing uses.£234.
Waste (the use of land for disposal of refuse or waste materials)Entire site area is up to 15 hectares.£234 for each 0.1 hectare
Site area exceeds 15 hectares.£34,934 for each additional 0.1 hectare, with a maximum fee of £78,000
Operations connected with exploratory drilling for oil or natural gasSite area doesn’t exceed 7.5 hectares£508 for each 0.1 hectare
Site area exceeds 7.5 hectares£38,070 plus £151 for each additional 0.1 hectare, with a maximum fee of £300,000
Commercial filmmakingThe temporary use of buildings of land for the purpose of commercial film making£96

Lawful development certificates (LDC)

A lawful development certificate is a legal document issued by the local planning authority that proves the legal development of a planning project. It helps to prevent enforcement action, and can be used as evidence to show the development wasn't a breach of planning permission rules.

Remember: an LDC is not the same thing as retrospective planning permission, nor is it a replacement for planning permission. You might still need planning permission even if you're covered by a lawful development certificate.

It's useful to apply for a lawful development certificate if you're developing under permitted development, as it proves the legality of the project. It's also useful if you've been serving a planning enforcement action but believe your work is immune because the time limit for issuing enforcement action has been and gone.

You might also want to apply for a lawful development certificate if you discover during a sale of the land that no planning permission was granted. You might need to show a prospective buy that the land or property is immune to enforcement action.

Application typeChangeFee
Law development certificateExisting use or operationEqual to the full fee for the same development type
Existing use or operation (lawful not to comply with any condition or limitation)£234
Proposed use or operationHalf the sum of the normal planning fee


Applications related to advertising require different planning fees depending on the type of advertising the owner is looking for.

Advertisement consent : £132

This refers to any advertising relating to a business on the site area or premises. It also includes advance signs directing the public to a business that aren't on the site or visible from the site.

Any other advertisement consent costs £462.

Non-material amendments

Non-material amendments refer to any minor changes made to a planning proposal. The amendments can't materially change the scale or size of the building, including its footprint. It also can't alter the description of the development or the red edge area of the planning application. As long as it doesn't breach any conditions originally placed on the planning consent, you can apply for a non-material amendment, but if the local planning authority decides it's not minor, you'll have to submit a fresh application.

Deciding what counts as non-material isn't a blanket set of rules. Whether or not the changes are non-material or material depends on the conditions of the original planning permission, as well as any other previous non-material amendments that have been made to the original application.

Some examples of non-material amendments include:

  • Minor changes to the original planning permission application.
  • Changes that don't breach conditions of planning permission.
  • Changes that don't increase the height of the property.

It's also important to remember you can't use this type of application to make changes to listed building consent.

Pre-application advice

It's always worth contacting your local planning authority if you're unsure about your proposed amendment. But in most cases, it's recommended to discuss your proposal with your local planning authority before you send in your application. Each local planning authority will have specific details about how you can do this on their websites.

Non-material amendments to a householder application after being granted planning permission have a fee of £34.

Any other non-material amendment to an application after being granted planning permission is £234.

Planning conditions

If your approval comes with planning conditions, this means you can only go ahead with the development if these conditions are met. You have to enter into a legal agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act which requires certain things to be done or money to be paid to the local planning authorities. This could include contribution to the improvement of local highways, schools or open spaces.

One of the main planning conditions requires you to start the development within three years. There are usually other conditions, such as environmental and noise issues, size limits and building according to the approved drawings. It's also important to plant trees as per the landscape scheme and to replace them if they die within the first few years. The colour and finish of external materials must also be approved by the local planning authority.

All application types

Removal or variation of a condition following grant of planning permission (including material amendments is £234. Discharge of a planning condition is £34.

And for all other application types (not including householder), the discharge of a planning condition is £116.

Outline permission

Outline permission helps local planning authorities to understand the nature of a larger or more complex project and whether or not it's acceptable according to planning permission rules. The specific details of the project (known as reserved matters) will then be confirmed at a later date.

The local planning authority will grant approval for outline planning permission within eight weeks from when they validate the application. Larger developments may take up to 13 weeks.

A planning fee for outline planning permission costs £462 per 0.1 hectares for sites of up to 2.5 hectares.

If the site area exceeds 2.5 hectares, the planning fee increases to £11,432, plus £138 per 0.1 hectares up to £150,000.

Planning fees for the approval of reserved matters following outline approval is the normal fee, or if you've paid the full fee, there are an additional £462 fees payable to the local planning authority.

Reserved matters

Reserved matters are part of outline planning permission applications. If an outline planning permission is granted, the next stage is to apply for reserved matters.

Reserved matters require more detail for information in the outline application, including points such as:

  • Appearance: the way the whole development looks, including the exterior of the building.
  • Layout: this includes any other buildings, routes or open spaces within the site area and how they’re laid out in relation to the buildings and spaces outside the development.
  • Scale: information about the size of the project, including the height, width and length of each proposed building.
  • Landscaping: improving or protecting the amenities of the application site, which could include planting trees as a screen.
  • Means of access: this covers accessibility routes to and within the site area, as well as how they link up to other roads and pathways outside the site.

You can't begin building until your reserved matters application has been granted. Approval granted by the local authority is given on a case by case basis.

Information required for a planning application

When you apply for planning permission, the supporting information you need will depend on your application. However, in most cases, you'll need to give a site plan, as well as a location plan.

The usual information required includes:

  • Current use of the building, as well as any previous use, and the proposed use as part of your development.
  • The size of the site and the site area.
  • The hours of opening and any employment information.
  • The number of proposed dwellinghouses.
  • A flood risk assessment.

It's important to remember the above categories don't cover all the information required for every application. Make sure you know all the information you need to submit if you're covering a larger or more complex project.

Prior approval application

A prior approval application relates to certain types of development that require approval from a local authority before proceeding. It aims to streamline the process of approval for projects that can bypass a full planning permission application.

There are several benefits to this process for both applications and local planning authorities. For applicants, it provides a much quicker, more efficient route to gain approval for certain types of development. It can also help applicants save money as they don't need to pay planning fees for a fully planning application. It's also much less strict in its requirements as it's designed for permitted development projects.

The local planning authority benefits from less administration, and can focus their attention and resources on more complex planning applications.

Prior approval can apply to lots of different development categories including permitted development, changing buildings from shops or agricultural purposes to other buildings, building a large extension to a home or building new agricultural buildings.

The minimum planning fee rate is for prior approval is £96, which includes:

  • Extra storeys on a home.
  • Demolition of buildings.
  • Larger home extensions.

If the application includes building operations in connection with the change of use, the fee is £206. This fee rate covers:

  • The change of use of an agricultural building to a dwellinghouse.
  • The change of use from amusement arcades, casinos and any land within its curtilage to dwellinghouses.
  • The change of use of a building from retail or a mixed retail and residential use, to a dwellinghouse.
  • The change of use from shops, financial and professional services, betting offices, payday loan shops and casinos to restaurants and cafes.

Other fees for prior approval include:

Change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage from Commercial/business/service to dwellinghouses£100 for each home
Change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage from commercial/business/service to dwellinghouses£100 for each home
Construction of up to 50 new homes£334 per home
Construction of more than 50 new homes£16,525 plus £100 for each home


Some concessions are valid for certain application types. When they receive your application, the local planning authorities will check if the planning fees are correct and if you're eligible for concessions.

Some concessions allow for exemption from payment, meaning you don't have to pay planning application fees, including:

  • If your application is solely for the change of extension of an existing dwelling house or works in the curtilage of an existing dwelling house (other than the erection of it) if it's built to provide:
    • means of access to or within the building for a disabled person who lives there, or is going to live there.
    • The work aims to secure the resident's greater safety, comfort or health.
  • If the application's building operations are solely to help provide access for disabled persons to or within buildings open to the public.
  • Planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area, as well as works to trees covered by the Tree Presentation Order or in a Conservation Area Hedgerow Removal.
  • Listed Building Consent.
  • If it's the first revision of an application for development of the same character or description on the same site by the same applicant.
    • Withdrawn applications must be within 12 months the application was received.
    • Determined applications must be within 12 months of the date the application was granted, refused or an appeal dismissed.
    • For applications where an appeal was made due to non-determination, the revision must be within 12 months of the period when the giving of notice of a decision on the earlier application expired.
  • If the application relates to an alternate use of building or land within the same use class.
  • If the application is for a lawful development certificate for existing use where an application for the same development would be exempt from the need to pay a planning application fee.
  • If the application is for a certificate of lawfulness of proposed works to a listed building.
  • If the application relates to conditions on an application for listed building consent or relevant demolition in a conservation area.

For the full list of exemptions, you can check the planning portal to see if you're exempt from paying an application fee.

Reductions to payments

Some concessions are eligible to have reduced planning application fees, such as:

  • If the application is being made for a non-profit sports club for works for playing fields and not involving buildings, the fee is £462.
  • Application fees made on behalf of a parish or community council are halved.
  • If it's an alternative, cheaper proposal being submitted on the same site by the same applicant on the same day, the fee is halved.
  • If the application is for an LDC for a proposed use or development, the fee is halved.
  • For reserved matters, you have to pay an application fee equal to or greater than what would be payable at the current rates for approval of all the reserved matters. If this has been paid already, the fees payable are £462.
  • If two or more applications are submitted for different proposals relating to the same site on the same day, you have to pay the application fee for the highest fee, plus half the sum of the other development.

Summary: Check your planning fees before you apply!

Bottom line? Know the type of work you want to carry out so you can research how much your planning application fee costs!

You can get a comprehensive list of different applications on the planning portal, or make sure to talk to your local authority if you still have any doubts about how much you need to pay.

And if you're looking for an initial home valuation, use our Online Valuation Tool today!

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