§ Mr. Donohoe
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what changes are proposed to the Scottish Office's revised fee scales for applications for planning permission; how much additional revenue will be raised by the increased charges; which bodies will benefit from the increased charges; what representations he has received from local authorities relating to the charges; and what assessment he has made as to the level of the proposed charges.
§ Mr. Stewart
[holding answer 8 February 1994]: There are no proposals at present to change the revised fee scales approved by Parliament in December 1993 for introduction on 13 January 1994 and on 3 January 1995. However, the scales are kept under regular review.
Based on the latest information available, and assuming receipt of similar numbers and types of application an additional £1 million may be raised in Scotland in 1994–95. The principal beneficiary of increased charges is the tax payer because the more income local authorities raise through fees and charges the less they need support from the Government in the form of aggregate external finance or from council tax payers.
My right hon. Friend has not received any representations from local authorities in relation to the costs applicants for planning permission have to pay.