DEVELOPERS will soon have to start paying a fee if they want to seek advice before submitting a planning application.
Portsmouth City Council currently provides a free support service for people who want to ensure they put forward a strong case for a development in the city.
But a report produced by the authority believes the introduction of a structured system with charges would ensure the service stays as ‘efficient and effective as possible’.
The move has been approved by Councillor Terry Hall, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic redevelopment, and will go ahead from May 6.
It means anyone who wants advice on small developments, such as proposals to alter or extend a house, would have to pay £40.
The money would cover the cost of preparing a letter including the help they need.
A meeting to discuss things further would cost more.
Telephone advice will remain free. A number of other authorities in Hampshire already implement charges and the council is able to apply a charge through the Local Government Act 2000.