Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Planning: where are approval rates highest and decisions quickest?

The North-east boasts the highest rate of residential planning approval while authorities in London and Yorkshire and the Humber are the fastest at processing applications, government planning data has revealed.

The rate of approvals in the North-east between October and December 2013 stood at 92 per cent.

Yorkshire and the Humber and London were the quickest to reach decisions, with 78 per cent and 77 per cent of applications being processed within 13 weeks.

A major planning application is defined as a residential development of 10 or more houses, or an area in excess of 0.5 ha.

Interactive: Planning authority decisions, sized by volume and coloured by approval %

Touch or hover on bubbles to reveal information

The North-east had the highest average approval rate with 92 per cent, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber (87 per cent) and the East Midlands (both 83 per cent).

The South-east had the lowest average approval rate with 69 per cent, followed by the South-west (72 per cent) and London (77 per cent).

Almost one-third of planning authorities across England granted 100 per cent of applications.

Though it recorded the highest approval rate, the North-east processed the fewest applications with 95. The South-east had the highest number of major residential decisions with 349, followed by the North-west (249), South-west (239) and East of England (229).

Overall, 4,071 major planning decisions were made across England over the period, of which 3,516 were approved (86 per cent).

Thirty-eight per cent of applications in the North-west took longer than 13 weeks to process, making it the slowest region on reaching decisions, followed by the South-west (37 per cent), East of England (33 per cent) and North-east (32 per cent).

With 32 major residential planning decisions between October and December 2013, Cornwall’s planning authority processed the highest number of decisions out of all 336 authorities in England.

Cornwall deputy head of planning Nigel Doyle said: “The build rate in Cornwall has been consistent since 2008, with around 2,500 homes a year.”

Number of major residential planning decisions by region

Zoom in or out and click on points to reveal information

Hover over the bars to reveal information

Labour has pledged to build 230,000 new homes a year if they win the next general election. Only 112,630 houses were built in the year ending March 2014.

Ed Miliband has also threatened to implement a ‘use or lose’ policy on housebuilders with landbanks.

Mr Doyle said: “There is a landbank stock that’s been approved and should be implemented in Cornwall. We have not had a big flex in housebuilding over the last 15 to 20 years.

“I doubt the country has the resources to build Labour’s target.”

The government issued a National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to simplify and accelerate the planning process to boost housebuilding in 2012.

The major residential planning approval rate across England stands at 86 per cent. However, the housing supply and demand imbalance suggests a drastic rise in major residential applications is required.