The UK's biggest planning authority Westminster City Council has introduced a new regime which means it will charge developers a flat fee for pre-application advice on major projects.
The £2,000 charge will be levied on requests for pre-application advice for projects that are defined as 'major' under the categories laid down by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Gordon Chard, Westminster's director of planning and city development, explained that the new arrangements had been developed in discussion with the development community.
He said: "Clearly this is an additional charge we are making on a developer but we are hopeful that anyone looking at a major development will feel they get value for money in the pre-application stage."
Chard added: "Westminster does have to bear considerable costs because of the highly complex nature of many of the planning applications it has to deal with and the sheer numbers of large scale plans we have to handle and it is only right that our planning system acknowledges that."
17th June 2004