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Application submissions decline in line with August trends

Words: Laura Edgar
Bricklaying / Shutterstock_401474689

August saw 55,686 planning applications in England and Wales submitted to the Planning Portal. 

According to Planning Portal's September edition of its Planning Market Insight Report, this is 6,907 applications less than July but 4,228 applications more than the number submitted in August 2020.

A drop is normal for August as it is the main month for people to go on holiday.

The report notes that the usual trend for autumn through to Christmas is a slight increase each month from September to November before a decline.

All regions experienced a decline in submissions from July to August:

  • North East: -11 per cent
  • North West: -11 per cent
  • Yorkshire & The Humber: -10 per cent
  • East Midlands: -12 per cent
  • West Midlands: -13 per cent
  • East of England: -11 per cent
  • London: -12 per cent
  • South East: -11 per cent
  • South West: - 6 per cent

Looking at Wales in more detail, the report states in the first eight months of 2021, submissions have continued to increase, with 18,288 received, up from the 13,911 submitted during the first eight months of 2020. This 31 per cent increase "has added to the burden of stretched resources within local authorities".

Cardiff Council received the highest number of applications with 2,038 submissions so far this year. In 2020, the total number of submissions was 2,417.

Swansea sits in second place with 1,380 applications received in the first eight months of 2021.

Increased workloads has had an impact on the supply of materials, as well as the availability of good builders and contractors, the report says, adding that according to John Newcomb, CEO of the Builders Merchants Federation, "we are currently facing the biggest demand for building products we have seen in more than 30 years".

The cause is much debated, with Brexit, Covid-19 and the number of projects all cited. Whatever it is, the report says builders' merchants, building material suppliers, manufacturers and retailers are "all facing a huge challenge".

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