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Planning application submissions: regional recovery at an all-time high

by on June 2, 2021

Regional planning application submission data from April indicates a reduction in the number of applications submitted across all regions when compared to March 2021.

The map shows the percentage change in applications by region from March 2021 to April 2021.

There is more to this data than meets the eye, however. None of these figures show more than a 19% decrease, and it should be taken into account that April has a reduced number of working days due to the Easter holidays.

When comparing April 2021’s figures to those of April 2020, the difference is significant. Regions in the North have seen large increases in application figures: a 92% increase on 2020 in the North East, and a 61% increase on 2019. Up until April 2021, the North East region has shown increases in the number of applications submitted month on month which helps to explain this vast difference. The North West follows at a close second, with an 85% increase when compared to April 2020.

Planning application submissions by region, April 2020 vs April 2021

The South West, which has been in the news a lot recently for its frantic housing market and development plans, has seen the lowest increase in comparison to April 2020, however this is still at +60%.

Over the last few years, the South West has seen consistent levels of submitted applications of all types, indicating that work on extensions and new builds has been completed throughout the region relatively recently. With these developments already having taken place, this may explain why we have not seen the spike in numbers as we have in many other regions following the first lockdown.

The Planning Portal is in the unique position of receiving around 90 per cent of all planning applications submitted to Local Planning Authorities across England and Wales. This means that each month, we are in possession of a unique dataset at the point of submission, giving us unrivalled access to proposed development trends and allowing early insight into what kind of projects are being applied for, and where.

Since May 2020, we have collated this information into a clear and usable report which highlights the trends of the previous month. The Planning Market Insight Report is the earliest source of planning market data available, and each issue features key high-level statistics as well as deeper analysis of a specific sector or topic.

Download the full report for access to national data, application fees analysis and this month’s ‘deep dive’ into the changing nature of Out of Home advertising throughout the pandemic.

One Comment
  1. threeshiresbuilding0571 permalink

    it is an interesting point that in our experience as a small design and build company the local planning department have never been so unapproachable. Suffering long delays publishing planning decisions with no feed back as too timescales, even if approximate.
    As a business it is impossible to forward plan the progress of our development, with the added cost of money tied up in a static project. Ever increasing material costs and shortages just add to the financial consequences. it seems unreasonable to not be able to have any communication from our local planning department, with the exception of the online planning search info. with auto reply emails to the effect of ‘Do not attempt to communicate with any member of the planning team with regard to the progress of you planning application’
    while I do understand the pressures on a local planning department suffering work staff shortages and high volume of planning applications, and the enforced changes of the last year due to COVID restrictions.
    Even before the pandemic, the local planning office was closed, and reduced to a PO Box. face to face contact disappeared, and the ability to talk to a planning officer seems to have virtually disappeared.
    Over the last 40 years I have had a good relationship with the local planning department, and when it was necessary productive meetings and advice from them. This is no longer the case.
    This is not progress.
    it is not unreasonable to have some information from the planning department long after the target determination date has passed. Why publish a determination date at all if there is no intention of honouring it?
    We, as businesses have also been subject to the turmoil and problems of lockdown and uncertain times. we seem to have lost all our statutory rights to have a planning decision.
    Frankly, you start to feel that you are being treated with a certain amount of contempt when we have paid for a service and can expect no help or guidance as to the likely timescales, whatever the outcome.
    We are not all huge construction companies, building thousands of houses. with influential lobbying contacts, and government support.
    There is an army of small developers and builders like us, who restore, convert and provide quality homes, putting life back into redundant or derelict buildings, not impacting on green spaces or open areas.
    How can we survive if we are not supported as well.

Please give us your feedback but we won’t publish any comments that are not constructive or that criticise any individual, any named business or any local authority. Please note, all comments will be moderated before being published.

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