Planning permission success rates

Planning permission success rates in the UK

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 |

New research reveals planning permission success rates across the UK.

An analysis of approval rates by timber flooring, doors and staircases specialist A Wood Idea has uncovered which regions enjoy the best success rates, finding 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.

grand designs tv house in lincolnshire from 2019 series - granddesigns

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. Photo: Fiona Walker Arnott

How to improve your chances of planning permission success

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

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.

Look for precedent

Your plans should be in-keeping with the area. 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.