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Statistics show 3% increase in planning authority decisions

Words: Laura Edgar
Planning permission approved / iStock: 67562923

District planning authorities in England granted 382,600 decisions in 2016 – an increase of 3 per cent when compared with 2015, according to latest government statistics.

In total, 435,600 planning applications were decided.

In the three months to December 2016, district level planning authorities received 112,100 applications for planning permission, up by 1 per cent compared with the same quarter in 2015.

Statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government suggest that 93,600 decisions, up 1 per cent on 2015, were granted during October, November and December.

Eighty-six per cent of major applications were decided within 13 weeks or the agreed time – up from 82 per cent in the previous year.

According to the statistics for October, November and December:

  • 12,700 residential applications were decided, an increase of 6 per cent.
  • 9,200 applications for prior approval for permitted development rights from October to December 2016 were received, a decrease of 9 per cent on the same quarter in 2015.
  • 7,500 of the 9,200 applications were approved without going through the full planning process, a decrease of 10 per cent.
  • 1,600 of the 9,200 applications were for changes to residential use; 1,100 of the 1,600 were approved without going through the full planning process.

In 2016 as a whole, district planning authorities granted 49,100 decisions on residential developments. This breaks down to 6,400 major developments, up on 2015 by 7 per cent, and 42,700 minor developments, an increase of 5 per cent on the previous year.

Richard Blyth, head of policy at the RTPI, said: “The increase in planning applications processed by planning authorities demonstrates the significant, ongoing contribution local authority planners make in England to delivery, particularly housing.

“This is at a time of severe resource constraints within councils. We know many local planning services are surviving on the goodwill and professional integrity of their planners. While these figures demonstrate the high performance of planners, processing applications is just one way they help create prosperous places and vibrant communities.”

The statistics can be found here (pdf).

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