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English planning applications fall by 30 per cent

The number of planning applications received by district planning authorities in England has fallen by almost a third, according to latest figures

According to the UK Statistics Authority, applications have fallen by 30 per cent for the first three months of 2009 compared to the previous year.

These figures also reveal that district planning authorities saw a decrease of 29 per cent in the number of applications decided (granted or refused) compared to the same quarter 12 months ago.

Other key figures indicated decisions on planning applications for residential developments decreased by 36 per cent in the same period.

To see the full report on planning statistics click here

Responding to the figures Trevor Beattie, director of strategy and performance at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), said: ‘These statistics clearly show the effect the market downturn is having on the development sector in terms of planning applications, which are likely to have a knock-on effect on starts on site and completions in the near future. 

‘That’s why the HCA is concentrating its resources on new build activity – to simultaneously help developers and their contractors and meet housing demand, now when it is needed – in particular through initiatives such as HomeBuy Direct, and the Kickstart and Local Authority Development Programmes both of which will fund schemes ready to start on site this year and next.’

Key points from the latest release are:

In the March quarter 2009:

  • The number of planning applications received by district level planning authorities decreased by 30 per cent when compared with the March 2008 quarter.
  • District level planning authorities also saw a decrease of 29 per cent in the number of applications decided (granted or refused) when compared with the same quarter a year ago.
  • Decisions on planning applications for residential developments (dwellings) decreased by 36 per cent in the March quarter 2009 compared with the March quarter 2008. Decisions on major residential developments (10 or more dwellings) fell by 46 per cent over the same period.
  • The percentage of major applications determined within the 13 week target was 71 per cent compared with 72 per cent in the March 2008 quarter.
  • Authorities that undertake county level planning activity determined 393 applications; an increase of 15 per cent when compared with the same quarter a year ago.

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