Log in | Register

Covid-19: Application submissions fall in England and Wales

Words: Laura Edgar
Fall in applications / iStock-685537546

Data shows that planning applications of all types fell on average by 3.5 per cent in March and 18.5 per cent in April in England and Wales.

This is one of the key findings in the Planning Portal’s first Planning Market Insight Report.

Planning Portal said the restrictions placed on personal movement and businesses to stem the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) have had a “significant impact” on the planning and construction industries. 

The insight report comes as the construction industry goes back on site following a message broadcast on television on Sunday 10 May by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and measures announced by housing secretary Robert Jenrick regarding flexible working hours and staggered travel.

Other key findings in the report include:

  • Applications have fallen most in the worst affected Covid-19 regions – London and the South East, and the North West.
  • Outline planning applications, which are less detailed versions of large planning applications submitted at an early stage to understand whether the principle of development is acceptable to local authorities, declined by 9 per cent in March and 10 per cent in April. Planning Portal said these applications “held up well”, which is a positive indicator for longer-term development.
  • Applications related to advertising have been hardest hit, with a 60 per cent decline.
  • Applications related to telecoms infrastructure are up, demonstrating the continuing investment in 5G networks in particular.
April submission data from the report:
RegionApril 2019April 2020Difference
North East993873-16%
North West4,129 3,223-22%
Yorkshire and the Humber3,1822,637-17%
East Midlands3,2662,655-19%
West Midlands3,3122,972-10%
East of England6,2074,979-20%
London9,7227,515 -23%
South East9,9067,935  -20%
South West5,2004,599-12%
Wales1,437 1,179-18%

Sarah Chilcott, managing director at the Planning Portal, said: “Obtaining market data to inform business planning has never been more critical than it is today and we are therefore delighted to be able to release this data publicly and comprehensively for the first time. We welcome feedback on what else organisations may find useful to add into future reports.”

Planning Market Insight Report can be found here on the Planning Portal website (pdf). 

Image credit | iStock