Charge could be detrimental

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 February 2010 | UPDATED: 12:46 10 June 2010

Re: EDDC to charge for pre-application advice (February 4). I read, with interest, East Devon District Council s (EDDC) intention to charge potential developers for expert advice. Surely, EDDC realise that these developers already pay for expert advice, b

Re: EDDC to charge for pre-application advice (February 4).

I read, with interest, East Devon District Council's (EDDC) intention to charge potential developers for expert advice. Surely, EDDC realise that these developers already pay for expert advice, by paying architects. It is my understanding that they also pay a fee for the planning application and have to make a contribution to EDDC under section 106.

Local developers contribute to the economy in many ways they provide employment, buy materials and equipment and, when building residential accommodation, there is likely to be an increase in council tax collected by EDDC.

Many developers have been submitting planning applications for several years and are very knowledgeable regarding "quality" applications, after all it is their job and in their interests to get through the planning process as quickly as possible, due to the high financial cost of ongoing delays.

Will developers who submit the planning applications and pay for "expert advice" receive a guarantee that the plans will go through, and, if not, will EDDC reimburse the developers for paying for a service which has not produced the desired outcome?

EDDC appears to have a monopoly on providing this "expert advice" as there is nowhere else developers can go and one must ask, is this going against the spirit of competition? Is this just another tax and a way to raise money for EDDC?

At a time of recession in the building trade and when developers who are investing are finding times difficult, is the decision to charge going to slow down new developments and be detrimental to the future of all who live in East Devon?

Anne Brogan,

Isca Road,

Exmouth.

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