Using datasets from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, we have drawn out statistics for each Borough showing the number of applications dealt with, how many decisions are delegated to officers, what percentage are granted, and how many decisions are made within the required timescales. We also take a close look at the MHCLG’s latest data tables which are aimed at assessing the ‘quality’ of planning applications made by each authority. By this, they mean how many applications are ultimately overturned on appeal.
As you read through our briefing, drawn up in another collaborative project with our Consultant colleague Alex Wilson from Psephos Consulting, it is worth remembering this is just a snapshot. The datasets in the MHCLG tables are updated quarterly looking back over a period of a quarter, a year, or two years, and we have taken information from just the latest datasets. It may be that in this latest reporting period some councils went through a bad patch in terms of planning staff turnover, for instance, which affected the speed of applications being decided. Likewise, we cannot know the quality of the plans being assessed: a high refusal rate may simply be the result of poor plans being submitted. However, there are trends that seem to show variation – in some cases sizeable variation – between local authorities.
Data of this kind, and more, exists for all parts of the UK. If you want a similar briefing note for other parts of the country, or a more detailed analysis of the political and planning backdrop in any local authority or region of the UK, or indeed an analysis of areas where you are looking to invest or have assets, please get in touch.