Planning application process to be improved in Scotland

Change to help improve the planning application process and the service received by applicants has been announced by Planning Minister Tom Arthur.

Following a consultation in 2019 that sought views on reviewing the planning performance and fee regime, planning fees will rise from 1 April 2022. 

This is the first time in eight years that there has been an increase to the standard planning application fees, providing much needed additional resources to local authorities.

Local authorities will be able to decide how best to use any additional fee income to help improve locally delivered planning services.

An architect working on a draft with a pencil and ruler

Planning Minister Tom Arthur said: ‘The planning system plays a central role in shaping the places where we live, work and access local services – and in delivering a just transition to a net zero economy. Ensuring planning departments are efficient and effectively resourced is vital to realising our ambitions for Scotland and supporting recovery.’

‘That is why reviewing planning fees and performance is a key part of our planning reform programme. This is a significant change to planning fees, which will provide substantial additional income to authorities and help to move towards fully recovering the cost of dealing with planning applications.’

‘I expect these increases to lead to improvements in planning performance and we will shortly progress the recruitment of Scotland’s first National Planning Improvement Co-ordinator.’

The fee for a new build house will increase from £401 to £600 per house for the first 10 houses from April, with the rate dropping to £450 per house for houses 11-49 and to £250 for each house over 50 up to the maximum fee of £150,000.

In related news, more than 60,000 households have been able to develop digital skills to help improve their job prospects and reduce isolation, through the £48m Connecting Scotland programme.

Photo by Daniel McCullough


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