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    The Hardest Places to Get Planning Permission Revealed

    1. 10 November 2020
    2. By Jeremy Greer

    Research from Roofing Megastore has revealed where in the UK it is most difficult, and most easy, to get planning permission approved for your property.

    Online roofing merchant, Roofing Megastore, conducted research to find out the hardest places to get your planning permission approved in the UK.
    They analysed three years of data from the Ministry of Housing, noting how many applications were either accepted or rejected in over 300 district planning authorities. On average 91% of planning permission requests across the whole country are approved, however when you look at individual districts, the likelihood can change dramatically.

    The Hardest Places

    Roofing Megastore’s research found that the most difficult place to get planning permission in the UK is Enfield with an approval rate of 65.13%. This is 26% lower than the national average. Hillingdon follows close behind with a rate of 66.01%. This aligns with the fact that a whopping 8 out of the top 10 hardest places to get planning permission are in London. Only one is located in the north of England: Rochdale, Greater Manchester is 7th with 74.03%.
    What this shows us is that the UK capital is not an ideal location for someone wishing to expand and renovate their home. They are more likely to waste money applying for planning application, only for it to be rejected.
    However, it is important to note that 65% is not a drastically low figure, we can see that over half of all applications are still approved. Wishing to build onto your home is therefore not out of the question across London, but it is important to be aware of the higher risk of rejection.

    The 10 Hardest Places to Get Planning Permission in England: (based on % of applications granted)

    Location % of applications granted
    Enfield, London 65.13%
    Hillingdon, London 66.01%
    Harrow, London 69.56%
    Hounslow, London 71.24%
    Greenwich, London 71.47%
    Lambeth, London 73.55%
    Rochdale, Greater Manchester 74.03%
    Southend-on-Sea, Essex 74.46%
    Newham, London 76.02%
    Bromley, London 76.82%

    The Easiest Places

    On the other side of the coin, the research found that the easiest place to get planning permission in the UK is Carlisle in Cumbria, with an approval rate of 98.90%. Copeland and Eden, both also in Cumbria, showed up in the top 10 as well, 2nd and 8th respectively. The spread of districts was much wider here, with locations ranging from the North East to the Midlands to the South West of Britain. Though 6 out of 10 are more northerly.

    With this data, it’s not as easy to pinpoint which part of the country it’s best to go to in order to get planning permission. However, based on the national average and the fact that these figures hover around 97-98% we can deduce that the further you move away from big cities like London and Manchester and into rural areas, the easier it is to build on or expand your property.

    The 10 Easiest Places to Get Planning Permission in England: (based on % of applications granted)

    Location % of applications granted
    Carlisle, Cumbria 98.90%
    Copeland, Cumbria 98.72%
    Richmondshire, North Yorkshire 98.17%
    Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire 97.89%
    County Durham, North east 97.82%
    Fareham, Hampshire 97.79%
    Cornwall, South West 97.39%
    Eden, Cumbria 97.38%
    North West Leicestershire, Midlands/ Rushmore, Hampshire 97.36%
    Darlington, County Durham 97.29%

    Why is this the case?

    As well as understanding where the easiest and hardest places to get planning permission are, we need to consider why they appear on these lists. Getting approved or rejected for planning permission can depend on a number of factors, including your neighbours, the site you want to build on, the type of structure you want to build and the status of the property itself.

    We can see that built up areas like London and Manchester are harder to get planning permission in than rural areas like Cumbria. In these cities you are more likely to have neighbours that may disapprove of your plans. The lack of space may also be an issue, meaning that the limited land you wish to build on could be unsuitable for building or your local authorities may disapprove of you reducing open spaces they have.

    So, if you live in one of these areas highlighted as being difficult to get planning permission, it is important to consider what may stop you before you go to apply. Perhaps do some research on why people near you have been rejected in the past and see what you can do, if anything, to avoid this.

    Find out more about planning permission.

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