Buried in the text of Greg Clark's statement to parliament on local government finances is a rather interesting paragraph on planning application fees.

It announces a consultation on increasing planning application fees - but only for authorities whose planning departments are performing 'well'. 

The statement is rather light on details. In particular there is no indication as to what constitutes a 'well performing' planning department. 

There is, however, a  promise that fee increases would be limited to the rate of inflation 'at most'.

Inflation linked increases are unlikely to solve the resourcing issues facing many local planning authorities, but they are equally unlikely to be particularly controversial in the development sector.  

I suspect the more interesting part of the consultation will be the Government's view of what a 'well performing' local authority planning department looks like.