Planning permission: how to improve your chances of success

Find out how likely planning permission is in your region, as well as the best ways to improve your chances of success.

By Hugh Metcalf | 23 January 2020

As new research reveals the success rate of planning permission across the UK, we look at a few easy ways to help your application get granted.

grand designs tv house in lincolnshire from 2019 series - granddesigns

Image: Amy and Paul Wilkinson were told they’d need to create a unique dwelling to get planning permission on their site in Lincolnshire, featured in the 2019 series of Grand Designs. Read more

An analysis of approval rates across the UK has uncovered which regions in the country enjoy the largest success rates when it comes to planning permission applications. The research, conducted by A Wood Idea, found that on average the UK saw approval rates of 86%.

Topping the list of the most successful regions were the North East (93%), the North West (92%), Yorkshire & The Humber (91%), the East Midlands (91%) and the South West (90%).

London didn’t fair so favourably, with North, East and West London all sitting at 77% approval rate or below, despite the fact that the City of London enjoyed one of the highest number of individual success stories, at 97%. Harrow faired the worst as an individual in the UK, with just 64% of applications approved.

You can find out your area’s chance of planning application success using a free online tool.

As new research reveals the success rate of planning permission across the UK, we look at a few easy ways to help your application get granted.

grand designs tv house in lincolnshire from 2019 series - granddesigns

Image: Amy and Paul Wilkinson were told they’d need to create a unique dwelling to get planning permission on their site in Lincolnshire, featured in the 2019 series of Grand Designs. Read more

An analysis of approval rates across the UK has uncovered which regions in the country enjoy the largest success rates when it comes to planning permission applications. The research, conducted by A Wood Idea, found that on average the UK saw approval rates of 86%.

Topping the list of the most successful regions were the North East (93%), the North West (92%), Yorkshire & The Humber (91%), the East Midlands (91%) and the South West (90%).

London didn’t fair so favourably, with North, East and West London all sitting at 77% approval rate or below, despite the fact that the City of London enjoyed one of the highest number of individual success stories, at 97%. Harrow faired the worst as an individual in the UK, with just 64% of applications approved.

You can find out your area’s chance of planning application success using a free online tool.

Image: For first-time self-builders Joanna and Martin, this site proved a real challenge in terms of planning permission, and their application had to outline how the build would approach a lack of vehicular access as well as contend with the flood-prone nature of the site.

If you’re worried about having an application approved, Benjamin Heginbotham, Director and Head of Design at The Practical Planning Company, has some simple advice to help your chances.

Be conscious of your neighbours

“Planners want you to build and develop the area; they don’t want to fail your application. Firstly, consider your neighbours; anything that overshadows their property and has a negative impact on their living environment will likely be refused,” he says.

Look for precedent

“Your plans should be in-keeping with the area,” Benjamin continues. “Taking the lead from other builds on your street can be useful as, should somebody object while your application is going through, the planners are more likely to approve your project if there is a precedent set.”

Get to grips with your plans

“Finally, make sure you understand the architectural drawings before submitting your application. If you don’t, you could gain planning permission for a space or design that isn’t suitable or even what you wanted,” he concludes.

 

Have you applied for planning permission for a new self build or extension? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or post a comment on our Facebook page.
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