Regulation 6 of The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications) (Scotland) Regulations 2022 provides the planning authority with the power to levy a surcharge of up to 25% on retrospective applications.

A retrospective application is an application for planning permission for a development which has already commenced or has been completed without the benefit of a grant of planning permission. Retrospective applications often result from Enforcement enquiries but can also be the result of other factors. A surcharge on retrospective applications is intended primarily to provide a means of recovering the costs of undertaking enforcement investigations.

East Lothian Council will be imposing the maximum 25% surcharge allowed by the regulations. The amount levied will depend on the type of application. For example, a householder application involving a retrospective application for a summerhouse, section of decking or installation of windows would attract a surcharge of £75. This is 25% of the normal application fee of £300.

When submitting a retrospective application, it is important that this is highlighted this at the time of submission.  The surcharge will not be calculated when an application is submitted on e-planning. This is because e-planning is a national service which does not consider individual charges levied by local authorities, and the surcharge will therefore be requested prior to your application being registered.  Your application will not be registered until the additional surcharge fee has been received.

If an application is submitted without being highlighted as being retrospective or part retrospective, and once registered is found to be so, the application may be invalidated and in this case will not be progressed to determination.  In these cases the application will be validated again upon receipt of the surcharge fee.

If a retrospective application relating to an enforcement investigation is not determined due to failure to pay the surcharge, the Planning Service may elect to proceed to formal enforcement action to resolve the matter.