There are fewer applications for planning permissions in England

Michael Lloyd

June 27, 2019

Between January to March district level planning authorities in England received fewer applications for planning permissions and granted fewer decisions, data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has found.

Planning authorities received 111,300 applications for planning permission, down 5% from the same quarter last year and granted 81,500 decisions, down 7% year-on-year. This is equivalent to 88% of decisions, unchanged from the same quarter of 2018.

Andy Sommerville, director at Search Acumen, said: “It’s been a strong year for housebuilding, but planning applications and grants have continued to fall – 2018/2019 has seen the biggest dip in applications for a decade. At this rate, a slowdown in housebuilding is inevitable.

“While there is a dip in the time taken to grant decisions year-on-year, there’s no time to be complacent for planners.

“Headlines continue to proclaim the extent of the UK housing crisis with many young people still struggling to get on the property ladder in their chosen locations, hindered further by drawn out processes.

“Prospective homeowners seek metropolitan areas, close to transportation links and good schools – the fear is fewer applications are being made and accepted in the most desirable areas.

“We need to find more of the right places to build property upon, so developers need to focus on being smart to seek out opportunities. The data on our land is already available – we now need to make sure we are using it to its full potential.”

District level planning authorities in England decided 88% of major applications within 13 weeks or the agreed time, down 1% from the same quarter in 2018.

In addition, it granted 11,200 residential applications, down 6% on a year earlier and granted 2,000 applications for commercial developments, down 11% year-on-year.


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