22 February 2016
The Minister for the Environment, Deputy Steve Luce, has reduced the cost of making an appeal against a planning or building decision.
An independently run new merits-based planning appeals system was introduced in 2015. The costs of bringing an appeal were set at a much lower level than under the previous Royal Court system.
Appeal costs were increased at the beginning of 2016. These were challenged by Deputy Scott Wickenden of St Helier, and the States Assembly was due to debate the fees in March.
Having carefully considered the matter and following constructive discussion with Deputy Wickenden, the Minister for the Environment has decided to reinstate the original 2015 fees. The Minister will review the fees after the new system has been in operation for twelve months and when more information is available on the number and type of appeals received, and the associated costs.
Deputy Luce said: “We were reluctant to introduce higher charges for planning appeals but we made this decision when funding for the new appeals system was removed under the Medium Term Financial Plan.
“Following discussion with Deputy Wickenden, we both agreed that if the scheme is to be as accessible as we want it to be, it’s too early to introduce an increase in the appeal fees. This will put pressure on States finances, but I believe we need to ensure the system is running as efficiently and effectively as possible before considering an increase and I’ll review this once the system has had time to settle down.”
Deputy Wickenden said: “I’m pleased that the Minister has re-considered the fees and reduced these to the original 2015 levels. Our discussions confirmed that we both want the appeals system to be accessible and affordable to the public.”
From 1 March 2016 the cost of an appeal will be as follows:
- appeal against the refusal to grant or to vary planning permission
-major development £300
-minor development £100
- appeal against the grant of planning permission (third party appeal) £300
- all other appeals £100
The Minister has also agreed to reduce the appeal fees due for appeals submitted since 1 January 2016.