Revealed: The Easiest (and Hardest) Places to Get Planning Permission in England Property Development 25th October 2017 | By Luke Egan Difficulty getting development permission and constraints in the planning process are often key areas of frustration for developers, but is it really that hard for a project to get the go ahead? And why? We’ve analysed the data and are revealing the easiest and hardest places to get planning permission. It’s Now Easier Than Ever to Get Planning Permission in England According to government data, it is now easier than ever to get planning permission in England. In 2016/2017 there were around three quarters of the number of applications made in England compared to the same period a decade previous. Despite this, the percentage of applicants that have been granted has grown from 82% to 88%. The total number of all planning applications has dropped since the economic crash nearly a decade ago, but better planning guidance and a relaxation of planning rules are seeing more applications granted than ever. How Difficult is it to Get Planning Permission? Where Are Your Plans Most Likely to be Approved? In the year ending 31st March 2017, the least likely place you would get a major development approved was in Epsom and Ewell where just 38.46% of applications were granted (DCLG data). Spelthorne (50%) and Bournemouth (52.08%) also saw a low percentage of major development permissions granted. Please select your chosen area to see figures. Major developments include projects over a hectare, whereas minor developments are up to 1 hectare in size. Why were these applications declined? Well, many came up against concerns of green belt land being spoilt, whereas others were denied as they would put too much stress on local doctors’ surgeries, schools, hospitals and local road networks. In fact, it was recently reported that Epsom and Ewell council could be stripped of its planning powers because it has refused too many major planning applications. Government inspectors have criticised the council for failing on meeting government criteria, and a suggestion of making applications directly to the government’s Planning Inspectorate has been made. On the other end of the scale, there were 18 places in England where 100% of major development applications were granted. These included: Please select your chosen area to see figures. Work has now started on a controversial potash mine in North York Moors National Park, and Halton will soon be seeing new homes built. Adur will host a 600-strong house development and the building of an IKEA store, whereas Lincoln will be seeing a considerable increase in its volume of retirement housing. Please select your chosen area to see figures. On a smaller scale, minor development applications were least likely to be granted in Harrow (54.01%), Enfield (60.10%) and Newham (60.88%). There were just four places where all minor development applications were granted: The City of London, Wigan, Exmoor National Park, Copeland and Hartlepool. It appears that the City of London is well-aware of its surge in population growth (+29.6% between 2006 and 2016) and the demand for locations in this bustling business district, and those in power are encouraging development in a bid to target this. Whereas well-thought-through applications are proving successful in green and seaside locations. Ben Lloyd, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Pure Commercial Finance, said: “Commercial property finance is our bread and butter and we help arrange funding for development projects across the country on a daily basis, so we were intrigued to see where these were most likely to get permission and at what rate. “We are pleased to see a number of planning bodies across the country are keen for the redevelopment and expansion of property on offer in their areas, and are delighted to provide our current and future clients with an insight into this data.” Need Help Financing Your Development? Pure Commercial Finance specialises in funding ambitious and complex developments, Whether you’re thinking of building in one of the easiest places to get planning permission or the hardest, talk to our development finance brokers today. Read more: The Average Commercial Property Investment Lot in The City Now Costs £110m Government Report Says Community Infrastructure Levies Need Reform What Are the Rules Regarding Building on Green Belt Land?