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Find out what you need to know

Planning Performance Agreements (PPA)

Are timescales and key dates really important to your development? Would you like priority access to your Planning Officer? Do you want the chance to improve the quality of your scheme, through collaboration with us? If so, a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) may be for you, irrespective of the size of your project. 

The function of a PPA

A PPA is a negotiated agreement, signed separately for each stage of a project (pre-application, application, post-decision) which we can set up at any point, and on any type of scheme. Entering into a PPA has a number of advantages for time-critical projects:

  • You'll receive an enhanced service, with a dedicated Planning Officer to deal with your application
  • You'll have contact details for named internal consultees, such as Highways, Ecology or Urban Design
  • There will be a mutually agreed timetable for your proposal to be brought forward
 Read about PPA features in detail

The following features are all included in the price of your PPA:

  • A lead Planning Officer to co-ordinate all the relevant B&NES departments involved such as Ecology, Highways or Drainage, who will be working on your application(s)
  • Meetings, as appropriate, with your Planning Officer and other relevant B&NES officers 
  • A realistic timetable for the size and complexity of the project, and defining key milestones, including Section 106 (planning obligation) negotiations 
  • A project plan, identifying key team members, stakeholders and consultees, and timetables for meetings and workshops, giving you more certainty on the time it will take to determine the application
  • An agreed understanding of your project’s needs, including management and resources, and the scope of collaborative working 
  • Advice on who to consult within the local community and how this should be carried out, enabling you to fulfil your obligations under the Council’s Statement of Community Involvement
  • Early identification of problems or unforeseen issues, and a method for reviewing these, which should reduce delays to the scheme 
  • Help to reduce the number of conditions attached to the decision, thus potentially facilitating a quicker start to the development, with less complication
  • Advice to minimise the risks and costs associated with appeals

We are not able to include statutory consultees external to the council, such as the Environment Agency, Historic England, Wessex Water, Natural England in a B&NES PPA. These organisations may offer their own enhanced services. We recommend you contact them directly to find out more.

Find out fees and how to pay

PPA fees are payable in addition to existing application fees and Pre-planning Application Advice or Development Team service fees, and reflect the additional work the council has to undertake to meet the PPA commitments. We grade the fees for PPAs according to the scale or complexity of the proposals and the stage of the project (see below, fees from 1 April 2020). 

We're aware that some schemes will not fit easily into the service levels provided, are very large or complex, or simply require a different approach, with more external resourcing. For these schemes, we offer a bespoke charging facility, which we'll negotiate with you.

You can use a PPA at each stage of development (pre-application, application and post-decision) and you can start a PPA at any stage. There will be a separate charge for each project stage. Payment for your PPA is in advance, preferably by debit card or credit card, over the telephone on 01225 39 40 41.

PPA level 1

Fee: £312 (exc VAT), £374 (inc VAT) 

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Loft conversions, conservatories and extensions to your own home
  • Domestic garages and outbuildings
  • Small scale alterations or changes to commercial premises, such as awnings, solar panels, windows
  • Driveways
  • Adverts
  • Discharge of planning conditions (one to five planning conditions)
  • Non-material amendments
  • Listed buildings -one premises, general alterations (excluding extensions and new buildings), simple changes to plan form and change of use, stone cleaning, boilers and flues

PPA level 2

Fee: £1561 (exc VAT), £1873.20 (inc VAT)

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Erection of one to four dwellings, including changes of use to flats or residential
  • Erection or extensions of commercial building or facilities up to 500m2 including business changes of use
  • Agricultural development or erection or works to agricultural buildings or land, including barn conversions
  • Erection or creation of community and residential sports and recreation facilities, such as stables or bike tracks
  • Telecoms and small scale freestanding renewable energy proposals under 1 hectare
  • One variation application
  • Listed buildings - two to four premises or units, general alterations, simple changes to plan form and change of use, stone cleaning, boilers and flues
  • Listed buildings - one premises range of minor alterations throughout the property, minor extensions, minor new or replacement structures

PPA level 3

Fee: £3121 (exc VAT), £3745.20 (inc VAT)

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Erection of five to nine dwellings including changes of use to flats or residential 
  • Commercial (re)development, including business changes of use from 501 to 999m2
  • Listed buildings - five to ten premises or units, general alterations, simple changes to plan form and changes of use, stone cleaning, boilers and flues  
  • Listed buildings - one premises, range or mixture of minor and major alterations throughout the property

PPA level 4

Fee: £6242 (exc VAT), £749.40 (inc VAT)

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Erection of 10 to 50 dwellings
  • Large mixed use development from 1,000 to 4,999m2
  • Student accommodation and extra care facilities up to 50 beds
  • Commercial (re)development including business changes of use from 1,000 to 4,999m2
  • Listed buildings - one premises, major ongoing alterations over a period of time, extensions, new or replacement structures
  • Listed buildings - Management Plans and Heritage Partnership Agreements

PPA level 5

Fee: £12,485 (exc VAT), £14,982 (inc VAT)

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Erection of 51 to 100 dwellings
  • Student accommodation and extra care facilities from 50 to 99 beds
  • Sports facilities, such as floodlights, pitches, stands, parking
  • Renewable energy proposals over 1 hectare
  • Listed buildings - extensive works and alterations, including major historic sites, involving fundamental change to structure, form or fabric
  • Listed buildings - various premises, estates, large sites - major ongoing alterations over a period of time

PPA level 6

Fee: equal to Pre-planning Application Advice or Development Team charge, plus VAT

PPA for submissions from our Pre-planning Application Advice or Development Team services

PPA level 7

Bespoke fee, available on application

This service is suitable for the following projects:

  • Specially negotiated schemes which do not fit service levels 1 to 6
  • Resubmissions
  • Strategic sites
  • Erection of 100 or more dwellings
  • Commercial (re)development, including business changes of use over 5000m2 
  • Student accommodation and extra care facilities over 100 beds

How to apply

If you already have an allocated Planning Officer for your scheme, contact them to discuss how a PPA could help you. If not, please call us on 01225 39 40 41, and we'll contact you to discuss the appropriateness of a PPA for you. 

We can set up a PPA reasonably quickly. Just download and complete the form below, scan and email development_management@bathnes.gov.uk it to us, or send us a hard copy:

  • Planning Services
  • Lewis House
  • Manvers Street
  • Bath
  • BA1 1JG

We will work with you to create a good programme which identifies key milestones and pinch-points, with a clearly laid out timetable and target decision date. The lead Planning Officer will regularly review progress of the key issues and tasks with you. We'll take shared responsibility for addressing any delays or blockages with you. 

For large or complex projects, it may be necessary to undertake a critical path analysis and prioritise the tasks. However, many tasks can be undertaken in parallel to speed up delivery. And it may also be necessary to build in a number of project review stages and meetings attached to the key milestones of the agreed planning process.

The PPA will come into force once it's signed both by you and us, and we have received the appropriate fee.  

Important notes on your PPA

A PPA sets out the timing and delivery of the planning decision making process, and not its result. There is no guarantee of a positive outcome on a planning application covered by a PPA. However, a positive outcome is more likely, as we'll work with you to resolve as many potential issues as possible at an earlier stage, thereby reducing the risk of a refusal.

We reserve the right to decline to enter into a Planning Performance Agreement.

We do not publish PPAs on our Planning Register. However, we'll release them, if requested, under the Freedom of Information Act.

Apply for a Planning Performance Agreement