The offices of Lichfield District Council. Pic: Lichfield District Council

The cost of pre-application planning advice could be set to rise in Lichfield and Burntwood.

A meeting of Lichfield District Council’s economic growth, environment and development overview and scrutiny committee will hear proposals to change the structure so VAT is charged on top rather than being inclusive.

This would mean a 20% rise in costs, with minor developments of between one and four properties junmping from £150 to £180.

The council introduced the charges in 2014 in a bid to increase revenue as part of the Fit for the Future programme.

It had anticipated around £50,000 a year could be generated.

Cllr Ian Pritchard

But a report by Cllr Ian Pritchard revealed that while there had been no complaints about the charges being introduced, only around £29,000 had been raised during the 2014/15 period.

“Although the number of enquiries received in the first year following the introduction of fees was much lower than anticipated, it is appreciated that already in the current financial year this number is likely to be exceeded,” Cllr Pritchard said. “So numbers are steadily increasing.

“Although the initial envisaged level of income has not been achieved, the introduction of fees has regulated the overall number and quality of pre-application enquiries received to a more managable level, with some of the costs of that service now being recouped.”


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