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Success of planning application appeals falls to lowest level in five years

by LLP Reporter
13th Jul 23 12:06 pm

The latest data from Searchland, the development site sourcing specialists, has revealed that the proportion of planning applications being approved after appeal, having initially been rejected, sat at just 18% in 2022, the lowest level seen in the last five years.

Searchland analysed the number of planning applications submitted on an annual basis, what proportion were initially rejected before being appealed and the success rate of these appeals.

The research shows that in 2022, 73,515 planning applications were rejected across the UK versus 560,591 that were approved.

There are a number of reasons that may result in a planning application being rejected. These include loss of privacy due to the invasion of a neighbouring property, or loss of light, with the impact on surroundings often playing a crucial role in the rejection process.

You may also have your application rejected for environmental reasons, such as the protection of trees, or natural wildlife habitats.

It may be that the materials chosen for your development are hazardous, that your proposal restricts road access, or there are wider safety concerns such as air pollution.

Rejections are also common for those looking to develop listed buildings as they require additional, specific consents and planning controls.

The good news is that, should your application be rejected, you are able to appeal this decision. In such a case your options are to submit a revised planning application by meeting in the middle and addressing the concerns raised, or to appeal the decision outright.

However, the figures from Searchland show that opting to appeal in the current market may be a tougher task than in previous years.

Of the 73,515 planning applications that were rejected last year, 2,210 were appealed, accounting for 3% of all rejected applications. However, just 392 of these appeals were successful, with the original decision being overturned, a success rate of just 18%.

This is the lowest success rate seen in the last five years, falling from 28% the previous year and down from a peak of 30% seen in 2020.

Co-founder and CEO of Searchland, Mitchell Fasanya said, “There are a myriad of reasons why a planning application may be rejected and these range from some of the more basic considerations such as encroachment on a neighbouring property, to the more complex such as the use of particular materials or wider environmental concerns.

In most cases, these issues should have been ironed out prior to the application being made, however, there is an opportunity to address any concerns raised and reapply by way of appeal.

However, our figures show that in the current landscape, the chances of overturning a rejected application are the lowest they have been in the last five years, with less than one in five appeals being successful.”

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