“After consideration of the evidence for an increase to the permit application fee for existing drycleaners, the Welsh Assembly government has decided not to increase the application fee at this time,” said Ross Hunter, technical policy adviser to the Welsh Assembly.

“Any issues concerning the appropriate level of charges in respect of the regulatory regime will be covered as part of the annual review of local authority pollution control fees and charges, which we hope to issue for consultation shortly.”

However the UK government department Defra has already raised the application fee for existing drycleaners submitting late applications (that is after the October 31 deadline) from £134 to £200. Again this was done after consultation.

It is now proposing an application fee of £201 for all new and existing drycleaners with effect from 1 April 2007. It is currently consulting on these new proposed fees and charges, imposed to allow local authorities to recover the costs of implementing the regulations. The closing date for comments is Friday 5 January 2007.