Issue - meetings
Fees & Charges 2021-22
- Appendix 1 - Current and Proposed Fees & Charges – SPI Committee, item 279 PDF 355 KB
- Appendix 2 - Benchmarking of pre-application charges November 2020, item 279 PDF 136 KB
- Appendix 3 - Charging Policy.docx, item 279 PDF 297 KB View as HTML (279/4) 84 KB
- Urgent Update - Item 19 - Fees & Charges, item 279 PDF 56 KB
The Head of Finance introduced the report on the annual review of fees and charges. It was proposed that the deferred increase in parking charges take effect from 1 April 2021, with inflationary increases to building control services and an increase to planning pre-application advice services following a bench-marking exercise that had been undertaken. It was anticipated that there would be a 13.8% income reduction for the Committee in the next financial year.
Several Members expressed concerns that it was inappropriate to increase parking charges due to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and that this would result in reduced demand for the service. Consideration was given to further publicising the Council’s car parks to increase their usage. Particular reference was made to reduction in parking income that resulted from the removal of parking spaces to accommodate the King Street cycle lane and the negative feedback received from the active travel scheme.
However, it was highlighted that if the parking charges were not implemented, further savings would have to be found from other services and that the increase had already been deferred due to the pandemic.
The proposed increases to the pre-application fees were discussed, due to the significant difference between the proposed charges and the Kent average. The Head of Planning and Development advised that the services provided across the Kent Authorities varied, so a direct comparison was not possible. Pre-application advice and Planning Performance Agreements (PPA) were not compulsory and the proposed increase to the former was deemed significant in the current economic climate. The Director of Regeneration and Place highlighted that the fees associated with this service had to be cost recovery only.
A request was made for a report concerning the feasibility of increasing PPA fees to be added to the Committee Work Programme.
1. The proposed discretionary fees and charges, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be agreed; and
2. The expected statutory fees and charges, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be noted.