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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

HM Revenue & Customs
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Other local authority activities: housing and community projects: planning regulations

Planning, building notice, inspection and reversion fees

Although local authorities in England and Wales are obliged to undertake building control work they do not have a monopoly. There is private sector involvement in certain domestic works and there are private sector ‘approved inspectors’ who carry out non-domestic work. As a result building control fees are standard rated. However, in Scotland and Northern Ireland authorities continue to have a statutory monopoly so their building control fees remain non-business. All local authorities retain their statutory monopoly over planning applications and reversions and so the fees they charge are non-business.

Regularisation fees

Where required anybody carrying out building work must first obtain approval from the local authority. However, the authority may also consider a building application retrospectively and can issue a regularisation certificate on payment of the appropriate fee. Approved inspectors in the private sector do not have the legal power to carry out this function so the authority can treat the charge as non business.