§ Mr. Donohoe
To ask the Scretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement giving the reasons why the Scottish Office has introduced the revised fee scale for planning permission applications.
§ Mr. Stewart
The Government's policy is to achieve full recovery of planning authorities' costs for handling planning applications. Accordingly, fee scales are subject to regular review and, as part of that exercise, are assessed against the most recent information on costs and income available from planning authorities. The latest returns indicate that the recovery rate in Scotland is around 51 per cent. My right hon. Friend, therefore, decided to seek parliamentary approval for the increases introduced in January 1994, to be followed by further increases in January 1995.