Advice on Planning Performance Agreements

A Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) is a voluntary agreement between the Local Planning Authority and a potential applicant to provide a project management framework for handling a development proposal from pre-application stage through to decision.

Planning Performance Agreements

PPAs are particularly useful for larger, more complex schemes where the main planning issues (for example layout, scale, mix, design, highway matters and residential amenity) can be identified and addressed, prior to the submission of a planning application. However, applications of all types and complexity may benefit from a PPA, including discharge of conditions. 

In addition to the pre-application service, which is included within the cost of the PPA, applicants can expect the following benefits of the PPA service:

  • Certainty of timescales for reaching a decision.
  • A project-managed application process that includes input from a range of professionals, including a dedicated planning officer for the project.
  • Ensure appropriate resources and expertise are provided to advise on complex proposals.
  • A meeting schedule with officers/consultees, tailored for the development to enable constructive discussion on the proposed development.

A PPA relates to the process of considering development proposals and not the decision itself. This service cannot provide any guarantee that a proposed development will receive planning permission.

For further information, view the PPA template (pdf, 360 KB).

Fees

All PPAs are made in accordance with the Localism Act 2011 and the Local Government Acts 1972, 2000, and 2003. Section 93 of the Local Government Act 2003 allows local planning authorities to charge for providing discretionary services and legislation is clear that, where charges are made, they must not exceed the cost of providing the service.

The cost of a PPA depends on the scale of the application, the resources and number of meetings required, and the level of input necessary from officers. Therefore, once the draft PPA is completed and submitted to the Local Planning Authority, the applicant would be informed of the necessary fee.

Additional expenses

Additional expertise from consultees outside the Planning and Transportation Division may be necessary. This includes expertise from Environmental Health, Housing, Arboriculture and Ecology. It will be necessary for such input to be funded by the applicant on an hourly rate. The hourly rates for officers are identified in the table below, excluding VAT.

Role Charge per hour (inclusive of VAT)
Head of Service £135
Section Manager £116
Area Team Leader £102
Principal Officer £90
Senior Officer £78
Senior Administrative Officer £50

Occasionally, it may be necessary to instruct qualified specialists to review submitted information concerning viability, engineering, legal matters, wind, light, sustainability, Environmental Impact Assessment, or other areas acknowledged by both the Local Planning Authority and the applicant, as requiring independent specialist advice. The applicant will be responsible for paying any reasonable costs incurred by the Council. These costs would be subject to prior agreement and/or appropriate cap on third party fees. 

Updated: 31 July 2018