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Planning performance agreements

Planning Performance Agreements (PPA) are a project management tool which the Local Planning Authority and Applicants / Developers can use to agree timescales, actions and resources for handling particular applications. A PPA should improve the speed and quality of the decision-making process, deliver better outcomes, and facilitate better engagement between the Local Planning Authority, Applicants / Developers and - where possible - other key players. A PPA should achieve more than merely setting a timetable for a decision.

Some key potential benefits include:

  • establishing a better understanding of a project's needs, including management of resources, and the scope of collaborative working.
  • setting a realistic timetable relevant for the size and complexity of the application and defining key milestones;
  • minimising the risks and costs of appeal;
  • enabling identification of problems and a method of reviewing these; and
  • providing a formal mechanism for parties, including key stakeholders, to collaborate.

The Council is fully committed to the aims of PPA's to assist in providing a positive and pro-active Development Management Service and help deliver the aim of achieving high quality sustainable development.

PPA's help ensure that development proposals progress through the application process in a timely fashion and result in high quality development but the service is costly in respect to time and resource.  It is therefore necessary to charge for all PPA's to ensure that adequate resources and expertise can be provided to help advise on development proposals.

If your proposal:

  • a former draft allocation site, or
  • 50 or more dwellings, or
  • 2,500sqm or more of non-residential floorspace (including change of use), or
  • or is a use of land with a site area over 5 hectares (ha)

then an initial PPA inception meeting fee of £10,000 plus VAT will be payable in advance of the PPA inception meeting. 

To request an inception meeting, please complete and return the following form to us:

As part of the PPA inception meeting, we would also discuss the PPA process and a draft PPA can then be prepared for agreement.  A PPA fee based on the size and nature of the proposal and covering the pre-application and application process through to determination of the application, would also be payable in accordance with the PPA fee schedule set out on page 6 of the document below:

If you have any queries regarding PPA fees, then please direct your enquiries to

When should a PPA be initiated?

Engagement at an early stage about the process of handling an application means that issues and concerns are also identified at that stage. Front-loading and early engagement are being increasingly recognised as good practice. To make the best use of time and to reap the most benefits, a PPA is best commenced at the pre-application stage. 

There needs to be an understanding between the Local Planning Authority and the Applicant / Developer and a desire on both sides to work together towards a shared vision and objectives. PPA's need to be flexible to take account of changes but clear enough to set out a framework for dealing with such eventualities.

What is the best approach to agreeing the scope of a PPA?

The process for agreeing a PPA must be proportionate to the proposals. Applicants / Developers and the Local Planning Authority can achieve a proportionate PPA by having clear aims and objectives for the proposed development, the application process and the PPA itself before starting discussions.

We fully recognise that agreeing a PPA should not take up valuable time and resources, so that it becomes a work stream in itself and delays discussion and determination of a proposed planning application. The real task is not negotiating an agreement, but setting out a framework early on. This will allow the objectives to be delivered; the necessary steps taken for the planning application to be formulated, submitted and validated; and for consultation to be done in an appropriate co-ordinated and informed way.

As part of the Local Planning Authority's key facilitator role to major development enquiries, officers will normally prepare a draft of a PPA to help expedite discussion with an Applicant / Developer leading to sign off.

What happens if things go wrong?

A PPA does not bind the Applicant / Developer or the Local Planning Authority into the agreed process. If the Authority fails to determine the application in accordance with the agreed date, then the normal statutory provisions apply and the Applicant / Developer may appeal. Likewise, if an Applicant / Developer does not abide by the PPA, the Local Planning Authority will not be obliged to follow the agreed process. To avoid any doubt, the PPA should specify the date from which the right to appeal for non-determination runs.

In cases where dispute arises, in particular where an Applicant / Developer feels the Council is not meeting the timescales provided in a PPA, arrangements will be made for the matter to be urgently reviewed by the Development Team Manager, or if required the Head of Planning.

Review of PPA Process

As part of the Development Management Service's standard business, those Applicants / Developers entering into PPAs with the Authority will be invited to share their experience with the service, once a PPA is completed. This will ensure that any lessons learned and general feedback can be captured and incorporated into future reviews of the service's PPA procedures.