Council charges for ‘fast-track’ planning service


Residents in Epsom and Ewell can pay to have planning applications decided faster as part of a new council service.

Launched on Monday (1 April), the optional fast-tracking costs £350 for a householder application – needed, for instance, to extend a home – and £150 for a lawful development certificate, which shows the proposed work does not need a formal application.

The Town Hall in Epsom

Applications will be determined quicker than the statutory 56-day timeframe: within 35 days for householder applications and 21 for lawful development certificates.

Last April, communities secretary Michael Gove warned Epsom and Ewell Borough Council that he was minded to hand its powers to the Planning Inspectorate because of ‘poor performance’.

Epsom and Ewell was deciding just 53% of planning applications in time, against an expected threshold of 70%.

The threat was lifted after performance improved.

Licensing and Planning Policy Committee chair Steve McCormick said the council’s planning department had ‘overcome significant challenges’ and was now ‘well exceeding national targets’.

He added: ‘It is brilliant that Epsom and Ewell Borough Council can now facilitate a service which will meet an obvious need for many residents wishing to progress building projects within the borough.'

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