Wild Land protection set to increase as planning fees rise

Trust welcomes Scottish Government decision to raise maximum planning fees

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Speculative applications for large scale industrial developments in wild land areas are likely to decrease following a recent announcement by the Scottish Government. In a move welcomed by the Trust, Kevin Stewart, MSP for Housing and Planning has said that he will be raising the maximum planning fee to £125,000 to better reflect the costs of large applications made to local councils.

The Trust was one of a number of organisations that fed into a consultation on planning fees, recommending action to increase fees as a way to reduce speculative applications for wind farms in wild land areas.

John Low, policy officer at the Trust said, “This is win win win. It’s good news for local authorities who have historically struggled with the sheer volume of applications for large scale developments. It’ll benefit taxpayers by narrowing the gap between funds received and the workload created. Most importantly it’s another step towards protecting our special landscapes as it should reduce applications for large scale developments in wild land areas that are clearly unsuitable.”  

The announcement brings planning fees in Scotland in line with those in England and Wales which have been higher for some time.