DCLG has today published the results of the consultation it ran between November 2010 and January 2011 on the reform of planning application fees. Readers will recall that this consultation included the controversial proposal to decentralise planning fees with local planning authorities setting their own fee scale.
The conclusion on that particular point is that "decentralisation is a complex proposal which would need further working through" - which we assume is code for "there was more to this than we realised". The proposal has not been dropped - but there is more work and talking to do. Meanwhile fees will go up by 15%. The "free go" lives on and it seems clear from today's publication that the idea of planning fees (if decentralised) covering plan making has been scotched.