South Kesteven District Council to charge for planning advice

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Developers and homeowners who submit planning applications will have to pay for council advice from April.

South Kesteven District Council has previously offered pre-application planning advice for free.

But from April 1, it will introduce charges, which will vary from about £50 for a homeowner with a straight-forward application to thousands of pounds for a developer planning a major scheme.

The council says the move is in line with what other councils are doing and means the cost of the service falls on those who use it rather than on all council tax payers. It is estimated the charges will raise about £20,000 a year based on current usage.

Planning manager Pat Reid said: “Councillors have made it clear that they do not want to make a profit but they do want the costs to be covered by those who benefit from the service.

“I believe the advice we are able to offer represents very good value for money and will help us provide customers with an even better experience.”

Rutland County Council introduced pre-application charges last year.