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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Changes to Application Fees

1: Why are you increasing fees to apply to make a home alteration?
We have not increased our fees in over four years, during which time many of the associated costs of delivering the service have risen. We want to improve the service we offer to you and to do this, we must invest in areas such as improving the application process and providing better guidance and information. As part of the estates and stewardship services review in 2022, we also took the opportunity to benchmark our service and price. Organisations that deliver a similar service to us cover the costs of their services using different methodologies. We have chosen to base our fees on the average time spent assessing the different types of applications, the minimum service you can expect and the cost per hour. This is comparable to other organisations and is based on the cost of delivering this service (cost recovery). We are not aiming to make a profit but to cover the cost of the service.

2: What fees are you increasing?
We have reviewed all the property alteration fees in Birmingham. We have also included a charge for pre-application advice over 30 minutes, which we didn’t previously charge for. You can view the full fee list, which will come into effect from 1st July, at the bottom of this page.

3: When are you increasing fees?
The new fees will come into effect from 1st July 2023.

4: Is there a discount for multiple alteration applications?
Yes. If you are making more than one alteration to your home on your application, you will receive a 10% discount. This will be automatically calculated for you when you submit your application.

5: How do I apply to make an alteration?
You should apply online by going to our Apply to Make an Alteration to Your Home Now page. You can also find information about the application process on our Guidance on Applying to Make an Alteration page. Following feedback from you and architects, we are changing the application form to make it simpler. Some of the changes will include:

  • Picking from a list of alterations which will then automatically calculate a fee.
  • One upload section for all drawings and specifications. Please be aware that this information is shared on our property portal and therefore, you should not include any personal or sensitive information.
  • Second upload section (not published on the portal), where you can include other information such as the reason for the application.

Before making your application, please read the design guide for your area, it details the process and the information needed to assess your application. If uploads are larger than our portal will allow, please try and reduce their size where possible as they are an essential part of the consultation process. If you have any problems, please contact us.

6: How do I pay a fee?
When you apply online, you will automatically be taken to an online secure payment system. Fees must be paid at the time of the application. If payment is not received, your application will be rejected.

7: I am not sure I can afford the increase in fees, is there any help available?
We are not able to offer any financial assistance, however, if you are having financial difficulties we can advise you of voluntary organisations that can help you. You may also be able to apply for government assistance with some alterations, please visit gov.uk for details.

8: If my application is refused do I get the fee I have paid back?
If we have assessed your application and it doesn’t meet the principles outlined in our design guide, then it will be rejected and fees are payable. This is why it is really important that before making your application, that you read the design guide as it details the process and the information needed to assess your application. You can also contact us for pre-application advice so that we can discuss the best way to achieve what you want. This will avoid your application being rejected; however, please be aware that advice that exceeds 30 minutes will incur costs. This is explained on the price list.

9: Why are you only increasing fees in Birmingham and not in Telford?
We are currently reviewing the design guide in Lightmoor and as part of this review we will be considering changing fees. This review is due to be completed by the end of 2023.

10: I am a BVT tenant, will these fee increases apply to me?
There will be no changes to BVT tenants charges, this forms part of your tenancy conditions.

11: Are there other costs that I will be expected to pay as part of the application process?
Some alterations will also need Birmingham City Council planning permission. Please refer to their website for further details and charges. This is in addition to our processes and fees. You can also read about the different approvals you will need in our design guides.

Making an Alteration to Your Home Application Fees (July 2023) Birmingham only

Our fees are calculated on a sliding scale depending on the complexity of proposals and are subject to VAT. Fees have been calculated using a simple formula which considers the average amount of hours we will reasonably be required to assess the application. Please be aware that fees are separate from any additional fees that may be payable to Birmingham City Council’s planning department, or any professional you instruct.

For applications where two or more types of alteration are requested, a 10% discount will be applied. Fees for listed buildings may incur additional costs, charged by the relevant bodies that govern these types of buildings.  Our fees are reviewed every three years. 

PLEASE NOTE: These fees do not apply to BVT Tenants, however tenants are required to make an application for any property alterations, please also refer to your tenancy agreement.

Pre-Application Advice

  TypeFee from July 2023  
Initial discussion up to 30 mins of any alteration – verbal advice only.£0
Householder advice to extend or alter a single domestic property including extensions / outbuildings to houses (single-family unit only or one flat if part of a block/conversion). Verbal advice followed by Written confirmation only.  £134.40
For pre application advice including a meeting/site visit and written confirmations.£268.80
Should either of the above exceed 8 hours of work, we reserve the right to charge an additional hourly rate.£67.20
Administration fee – Where a fee has been submitted for pre-application advice without all the necessary information and it is not received within four weeks of the original submission, the fee will be returned less an administration fee.£67.20

Property Alteration Applications

For all applications, included in the price is;

  • Validation of the application (do we have everything we need to assess your application)
  • General administration (this includes keeping the portal updated, checking TP1’s and Land Registry)
  • Review and assessment of the application
  • Liaison with Birmingham City Council’s Conservation Officer and other bodies, where appropriate and…

For Major Alterations, we will also include;

  • Visits to your home
  • Meetings with you or your representatives
  • Consultation with your neighbours to address any concerns or objections
  • Material review such as brick and tile matching.
  TypeFees from July 2023
Two storey extension£403.20
Single storey extension£268.80
New or replacement conservatory£201.60
New or replacement porch£134.40
New or replacement canopy£67.20
Garage amendments or conversion including roof, fascia’s and guttering, windows and doors.£168.00
Loft conversion that affects the look of the roof – add additional elements such as dorma, rooflights etc£134.40
New or replacement dorma£201.60
New or replacement roof lights, includes sun ports/tunnels – up to three£134.40
Hard standing/driveway, new or change in size or materials and pathways£201.60
Windows and/or door replacement£168.00
Other building works (Note: The price is per item): Re-roofing, re-rendering, external insulation/boards£134.40
  TypeFees from July 2023
Energy saving devices – solar panels£168.00
Energy saving devices – heat source pumps (including ground and air, and air conditioning systems)£168.00
Energy saving devices – other, including EV chargers£67.20
Garden building (sheds, greenhouses, pergolas, etc)£201.60
Fencing and gates£134.40
Garden/landscaping alterations including decking, patios  £67.20
Tree works including felling of trees and removal or reduction of hedges£134.40
Flues, chimneys and cowls£134.40
Other includes (Note: The price is per item): Security lighting, wheelie bins, satellite dish, aerial, facia and rainwater goods renewal and replacement, gas and electricity external meter cabinets and utility service boxes.£67.20
Retrospective application (plus alteration fee)£120.00
Variations/revisions to first stage approval or new application£201.60
Note: Administration fees. If all information requested is not received within four weeks, at validation stage, we will reject the application and refund the charge minus an administration fee. During the assessment of the alteration application, if further information is required or variations are to be made, all information requested should be received within four weeks of its request (unless extension agreed – to a maximum of eight weeks).  If this is not received within four weeks (or other agreed timeline), we will reject the application and the whole fee will be retained and a new application and fees will need to be submitted.   £120.00
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