Research reveals hardest and easiest places to get planning permission

A borough in north London is the hardest place to win planning permission in England, while the county town of Cumbria is the easiest, according to new research.

In the London Borough of Enfield just 65% of applications are granted, according to a study by Roofing Megastore. By contrast, 99% of applications are waved through in the city of Carlisle.

The roofing supplies merchant looked at three years of planning application data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to calculate the percentage of applications that were granted and rejected. The data covers more than 300 district planning authorities. Overall, an average of 91% of all planning applications get permission.

Eight out of the top 10 most difficult places to get planning permission are in London boroughs, with Rochdale and Southend-on-Sea also joining the list. Behind Enfield, the next most difficult boroughs are Hillingdon and Harrow.

At the other end of the table the most permissive areas for planning are predominantly rural areas with low population densities, and more in the North than the South. Three are in Cumbria, two in County Durham, two in Hampshire and one in North Yorkshire. After Carlisle come Copeland, also in Cumbria, and Richmondshire in North Yorkshire.

The research found that 309,403 planning applications were unsuccessful over the past three years, which Roofing Megastores says will have cost renovators more than £64 million. The research notes that a number of factors determine how likely a planning application is to succeed, including area-specific building regulations, planning constraints and development targets.

The company also looked at 'renovation hotspots in the UK' – based on Google search data. Stockport came top.

Most difficult areas to get planning permission

Rank Area Approved  %
1 Enfield, London 65.13
2 Hillingdon, London 66.01
3 Harrow, London 69.56
4 Hounslow, London 71.24
5 Greenwich, London 71.47
6 Lambeth, London 73.55
7 Rochdale, Greater Manchester 74.03
8 Southend-on-Sea, Essex 74.46
9 Newham, London 76.02
10 Bromley, London 76.82

Easiest areas to get planning permission

Rank Area Approved %
1 Carlisle, Cumbria 98.90
2 Copeland, Cumbria 98.72
3 Richmondshire, North Yorkshire 98.17
4 Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire 97.89
5 County Durham, North East 97.82
6 Fareham, Hampshire 97.79
7 Cornwall, South West 97.39
8 Eden, Cumbria 97.38
9= North West Leicestershire, Midlands 97.36
9= Rushmoor, Hampshire 97.36
10 Darlington, County Durham 97.29

This article originally appeared in Architects' Journal written by Tom De Castella 

Tags (Specialism/Topics)

Planning Research