The move follows Westminster City Council’s decision to axe the jobs of 31 planning staff in September unless extra funds are found urgently.
Westminster Property Association chairman David Silverman, who wrote to Pickles last week, said: “We think the Government is dragging its heels because it thinks the introduction of planning fees is contrary to their agenda for growth.
“Please bring in fees ‘sooner rather than later’ is what our members are saying. A properly funded and excellent planning service is an absolutely essential part of an agenda for growth.”
He added: “Developers are happy for local authorities to be self-funded. That’s a major preference to the alternative. The cost of delay in applications on major schemes is immense.”
Earlier this year, the council’s director of planning Rosemarie MacQueen warned that the budget anticipated £1.3m of additional planning fee income in 2011/12, and a further £340k in 2012/13.
But without a decision on fees, the council estimates it will need to make 31 redundancies in the council’s planning department.
But councils are still waiting for outcome of the Government consultation on raising planning fees, which was due out in April.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour Group, said: “Westminster’s Planning Department is one of the best in London but now it is under serious risk of meltdown.
“The situation is now so dire that even Westminster’s Property Owners are lobbying to pay increased planning fees and are accusing the Conservative Government of ‘dragging its heels.”