NRW introduces new charge banding tool

Natural Resources Wales’ new charge banding tool which will replace the existing OPRA system for calculating Installation permit application charges will go live today on 22 January 2024.

Between October 2022 and January 2023, NRW consulted on new application charges for a number of its regimes including installations, to ensure these charges accurately reflected the cost of delivering the application process.

As part of the consultation, four new permit application charging bands were proposed. Feedback received through the consultation suggested users wanted more information on the four new bands and how they would apply.

In response to this feedback, NRW has developed the new banding tool, which will be easier to use and be more transparent than OPRA and will ensure the new charges will match the time it takes to determine each application and reflect the true cost of processing the application.

This is in contrast to the OPRA tool where applicants paid an amount based on an environmental risk factor for the entire site.

Mike Jones, Regulatory Business Manager said:

“Firstly, we’d like to offer our thanks to those of you who contributed your comments both through the Charge payers Consultative Group and the consultation on our proposals for the new banding tool.
"We have taken your comments on board and will shortly issue a response document to our stakeholders as we go live today with the new banding tool.
“At this point, OPRA has been withdrawn for permit applications but will remain in place for calculating subsistence charges for 2024/25.  Reviewing subsistence charges will form part of our longer-term programme of work.
“Anyone wanting to apply for a Tier 3 Installation permit from 00:00hrs on 22 January will need to use the new charge banding tool on our website to calculate their application charge.”