THE cost of submitting a planning application in Craven is set to soar by 20 per cent from July as part of the government's drive to speed up housebuilding.

It will see the cost of full applications for developments of 50 homes rise from £19,000 to almost £23,000, plus £138 for any additional property.

And for householders, the cost of applying for an extension will rise from, £172 to £206.

The extra money raised by Craven District Council - expected to be around £82,000 - will be ring fenced to its planning department and will also help speed up the completion of its much delayed local plan - still hoped to reach its draft form by September.

Council leader, Richard Foster, told the council's Policy Committee he understood the increase had been called for by the country's 'big six' developers as a way of seeing more efficient planning authorities.

Extra resources will also be needed to tackle additional responsibilities for the council, including the chasing up of developers who delay the start of building after getting planning permission and preventing so called 'land banking'.

Cllr Foster welcomed the move which could also see the length of time required to start a development to two years.

"Our job will not just be giving the planning permission, it will be following it up to make sure it happens, we will have to find out why sites have not been developed."

And he thought it would help end the uncertainty for people living next to sites given permission for development.

"These people need to know that planning permission is going to happen rather than waiting around for someone to come along with a digger at any point."

The increase in fees is included in the Government's White Paper ' fixing our broken housing market'.

The paper places a number of additional responsibilities on planning authorities and with sanctions, if they are not carried out.

Councils proposing to increase their planning fees have to tell the government the money will be used within the planning department.

The council currently makes around £440,000 per year from planning application fees. With the increase, the amount will go up to £492,000.

The increase was due to be ratified by the full council on Tuesday evening.