Fees for pre-planning advice brought into force by council

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DEVELOPERS now have to pay a fee to seek advice before submitting a planning application.

As reported in The News, Portsmouth City Council previously provided a free support service for people who wanted to ensure they put forward a strong case for a development in the city.

But the council has now decided to introduce a charging system to ensure the service stays efficient.

A cost will be asked for if people wish to have a range of help from a council officer or want a letter from them with guidance.

To seek planning advice, search for ‘pre-application planning advice’ on the city council’s website before filling out a form and sending it to planningpreapps@portsmouth.cc.gov.uk

The decision to introduce charges was approved by Councillor Terry Hall, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic redevelopment, at a public meeting.

Anyone who wants advice on small developments, such as proposals to alter or extend a house, will now have to pay £40.

Telephone advice remains free, as does general advice which can be found by visiting planningportal.gov.uk and rtpi.org.uk/planning-aid

A number of other authorities in Hampshire already implement charges and the city council was able to apply a charge through the Local Government Act 2000.