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Planning applications stay on track in July, despite Brexit jitters

News Brexit BigPic
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Online planning applications held steady in July, despite the result of the EU referendum vote, according to new figures

The Planning Portal said it dealt with a working day average of 2,020 applications a day submitted online during July, up from 2,010 in June and from 1,922 in July last year. 

The total number of applications submitted online during July was 45,748, up from 44,478 in July 2015.

With about 90 per cent of all planning applications submitted online, the figures indicate that the immediate impact of the Brexit vote on developments has been less than some expected.

In a blog post, Sarah Chillcott, commercial director at the Planning Portal, said: ‘It has been nearly two months now since the shock result of the EU referendum. There was a lot of talk at the time about a slowdown in the housing market and concerns about the impact on the economy.

‘Of course it is still too early to say what the long-term impact will be, but […] there doesn’t seem to have been much of an impact on planning application numbers so far, at least those submitted online.

The Department for Communities and Government publishes comprehensive statistics on all planning applications received each quarter. Its first post-Brexit figures are due to come out in October.

Brian Waters, chairman of the London Planning and Development Forum, said it was too early to judge the effect of Brexit on planning application numbers.

He said: ‘My own view is that a small slowdown would be helpful in improving the processing of planning applications and, more importantly still, of appeals, which are in a lamentable state at the moment.

‘Freedom has its price and it may be that Brexit will cost the economy a few percentage points in the short term in exchange for immeasurable benefits in the longer term – dumping OJEU, for one example.’

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