Plan boom boosts council coffers

West Lindsey HQ EMN-140310-082643001
West Lindsey HQ EMN-140310-082643001

An upsurge in planning applications is proving a nice little earner for West Lindsey District Council.

A report for its Challenge and Improvement Committee, which met last night, said the council presently has a budget surplus of £716,000 for the year 2014/14.

An extra £400,000 received in planning fees made up the bulk of this, and the council also made £155,000 savings in employee costs.

“Principally due to the improvement in the local economy the income the council receives in fees for processing planning applications has significantly increased. This has also been reflected in an increase in the number of major planning applications received as they generate significantly larger fees,” said the Progress and Delivery Report.

The report also said that 86 per cent of planning applications received are invalid as the applicant is not filling in application forms correctly, so the council was offering drop-in sessions to agents. A higher volume of applications meant extra staff resources are being drafted in to help WLDC meet its targets for processing certain applications within 8 weeks, it said.