Planning Performance and Fees

Closed 16 Feb 2020

Opened 18 Dec 2019

Feedback updated 2 Jul 2021

We asked

We published a consultation on Planning Performance and Fees on 18th December 2019 and responses were invited by 14th February 2020.  A one week extension was granted to some organisations and some additional responses have been received since then, however these have not been included in the analysis.

You said

109 responses were received which are included in the analysis.  A further eight responses were received which are not included in the analysis as they were submitted after the analysis had commenced.

We did

We have recommenced work on introducing a new planning fee regime following the postponement due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Results updated 2 Jul 2021

109 responses were received which are included in the analysis.  A further eight responses were received which are not included in the analysis as they were submitted after the analysis had commenced. The analysis has highlighted the following key points.


  • While there was considerable support for a vision for the planning service in Scotland, there was only marginal support for the vision proposed in the consultation.
  • There was support for the content of the Planning Performance Reports (PPR) which are proposed to take account of the outcomes in the National Performance Framework and include chapters on customer service, engagement, case studies, improvements and outcomes.
  • There was overall support for the National Performance Improvement Coordinator although some stakeholders had different ideas about what they should be focussing on.
  • The issues of planning performance and fees are intrinsically linked and while there was general support for increasing fees, there was also a recognition that any increase in fees would need to be accompanied by a tangible improvement in the service provided by planning authorities.
  • Linked to the need to improve performance was the suggestion that authorities should have the option to ring-fence any funding from increased fees.
  • There was support for moving to full cost recovery. However, this requires clear information on the processing costs of applications and concerns were raised that there was insufficient evidence in the consultation on how the proposed fees had been calculated and whether the fees cover the cost of processing the application.
  • The tables in Annex C provide a summary of the responses to the closed questions on the proposed fees and method for calculating fees for the different fee categories.
  • For all categories of development, the majority of respondents answering the question agreed with the proposed fees with the exception of Category 20 – peat. The overall support masks different trends within the major groups with civil society and policy and planning respondents tending to support the proposed fees and business and development industry respondents showing less support.


Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


This consultation paper proposes a new approach to how the performance of planning authorities is measured, the role of the planning improvement co-ordinator and a new structure for the planning fee regime along with the introduction of additional services which authorities can charge for and the ability to waive or reduce planning fees in certain circumstances.

Why your views matter

This is the biggest change to the structure of planning fees in over 25 years.  We are keen to hear stakeholders views on the new categories of development and method for calculating fees.  Applicants in particular will want to see improvements to performance if they are being asked to pay more to apply for planning permission which is why we are consulting on reviewing the planning performance regime at the same time.  We are keen to understand the impact of these changes on businesses and other users of the planning system.

Read the consultation paper.

What happens next

In September we published our Planning Act Work Programme which set out that the proposed changes to the fee regime would be in place by Summer 2020 with the revised Performance Regime being implemented by the end of 2020.


  • Building and Planning