BUILDERS have hit out at a decision to hike planning application fees by 20% in a move dubbed a "shed tax".

The Scottish Government yesterday confirmed plans to allow a rise in fees charged by local authorities. It means the cost of applying for permission for the most basic buildings – including sheds, extensions and summer houses –will rise from £160 to £192.

Planning for a house will rise from £319 to £382. Fees for industrial and retail buildings will also rise.

Grahame Barn, director of the Federation of Master Builders Scotland, said homeowners would think twice about improvements.

The Scottish Government said: "This strikes the right balance between supporting sustainable economic growth and strengthening the resources of planning authorities."