Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°C


St Edmundsbury: Planning fees boost council coffers by £250,000

09:00 01 February 2014


A council’s planning department is set to rake in a quarter of a million pounds of extra income from planning fees – despite repeatedly failing to meet national targets.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council anticipates making £250,000 more than it budgeted for from planning fees this financial year, after receiving more applications than expected.

The fees are set at a national level which was increased in October, with some of the council’s surplus used to fund its emerging long-term planning strategies like Vision 2031.

A spokeswoman from the council said: “The reason for having more planning application fees than budgeted is that we have received more planning applications than expected.

“This happened while we are completing a restructure to create a shared planning service with Forest Heath to deliver savings.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has set councils targets for determining planning applications – 13 weeks for major applications and eight weeks for others.

However, St Edmundsbury has fallen well short of meeting Government targets for the first nine months of this financial year for both major, minor and other applications.

Just two out of 11 major applications were decided in the 13-week timeframe between October and December, with the DCLG calling on councils to hit the 13-week deadline at least 65% of the time.

A DCLG spokesman said: “Sometimes planning decisions can take too long. This can slow down or prevent people building new homes, creating new places and bringing disused or neglected land and buildings back into productive use.

“We need to ensure that the planning rules or poorly managed planning processes do not unnecessarily prevent or delay development.”

The DCLG wants councils to decide minor applications – such as a small housing development – and other applications within eight weeks 75% and 80% of the time respectively.

The figures for St Edmundsbury in the past three months were 44% and 57%, which were improvements on the previous quarters this year.

A council spokeswoman said: “We are making good progress, and with the new staff structure coming into place, we will be working to improve performance quarter on quarter.”


An armed police officer was called to Kesgrave as a safety precaution after a report was received of an injured dog today.

Last week’s article was about Oak Hill, the outstanding property just off Belstead Road on Oak Hill Lane, built in 1860 on a plot of land sold by Peter Burrell of Stoke Park, recaps John Norman, of the Ipswich Society.

Arthur Ransome’s tales of boats and adventure - many of which were set in Suffolk - changed the course of children’s literature.

Plans for Sizewell C are doomed to “evaporate” in the wake of insurmountable problems that will prevent its intended forerunner at Hinkley Point ever producing electricity, one of Britain’s leading environmentalists has predicted.

A Suffolk-based charity auction which has attracted bids from all over the world and raised more than £870,000 since its inception is aiming to break the £1million mark for national and local charities this year.

Fight or flight is fascinating, writes Ellen Widdup.

The A12 is now running smoothly after severe traffic delays earlier at Feering, Essex, caused by a two-car crash.

Some stores display a polite notice next to initial merchandise asking shoppers not to rearrange the items to create rude words.

Hundreds of youngsters braved the cold October temperatures to celebrate all things autumn at the Holywells Park Apple Day.

Suffolk police officers have been called to a clown sighting in Haughley, near Stowmarket this afternoon.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24