A nationwide petition arguing that revenue raised from increased planning fees should go back into the system has been launched by a member of our editorial board.

Philip Waddy, managing director of WWA Studios, has launched the petition with an ambition to force a debate in Parliament.

Levelling up Secretary Michael Gove is to go ahead with increases in planning fees of 35 per cent from next April with automatic annual rises after that.  But revenue raised will not be ringfenced to improve the system.

Mr Waddy says the high levels of support expressed during the consultation over the rises was conditional on the funds raised going back into the system. But the Government has no plans to ensure that happens.

He said: “Eighty-eight per cent of respondents accepted the increases were necessary to fix a broken system but only if the funds are ringfenced and used for the planning service, not syphoned off to fund other aspects of local government.

“Recently, Gove announced that the consultation was a success and the increases will now take place but they won’t be ringfenced for planning. So in effect, application fees become a tax and will not necessarily improve our broken system.”

He is seeking to get a debate in Parliament and has support from some key industry bodies.

He added: “It’s a tall order – we need 100,000 signatures and then some effort to lobby MPs but it’s worth a try. RIBA and RTPI plus RICS are being lobbied to encourage members to sign the petition.”

You can sign the petition here.

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