Home Lifestyle PropertyHome Improvements The London planning permission postcode lottery revealed

The London planning permission postcode lottery revealed

by LLP Reporter
25th Jun 19 3:40 pm

People seeking planning permission in Enfield find it tougher to gain approval than anywhere else in England, according to new analysis from MoneySuperMarket.

With planning permission often required for new buildings and major alterations to a building’s structure or purpose, the study from the UK’s leading price comparison website analysed over a decade of government statistics, as well as consumer opinion, on the process. It found just 62% of applicants are successful in the London borough.

By contrast, the Local Planning Authority in the North Yorkshire district of Richmondshire granted the highest rate of approvals, giving the green light to 99% of applicants in the area, while the UK average for the 2017/18 financial year stood at 88%.

Top 10 LPAs with the lowest approval rates:

Authority Total number of decisions made Total number of applications granted Approval rate
1.      Enfield 513 317 62%
2.      Hillingdon 588 365 62%
3.      Harrow 532 336 63%
4.      Greenwich 508 330 65%
5.      East Hertfordshire 438 295 67%
6.      Hounslow 422 289 68%
7.      Brighton and Hove 560 392 70%
8.      Newham 318 225 71%
9.      Luton 237 168 71%
10.  Watford 205 150 73%


Top 10 LPAs with the highest approval rates:

Authority Total number of decisions made Total number of applications granted Approval rate
1.      Richmondshire, North Yorkshire 125 124 99%
2.      Knowsley, Merseyside 105 103 98%
3.      City of London 151 148 98%
4.      Copeland, Cumbria 127 124 98%
5.      Carlisle 244 238 98%
6.      Fareham, Portsmouth 239 233 97%
7.      Erewash, Derbyshire 157 153 97%
8.      Halton, Cheshire 103 100 97%
9.      Lincoln 102 99 97%
10.  Blaby, Leicestershire 199 193 97%


The national approval rate has been steadily on the rise since 2006/07, when it was as low as 82%. However, while the approval rate is increasing, the total number of planning requests submitted has decreased by 27%.

The data also reveals 5% of respondents discovered that they did not need to submit an application for their project at all – meaning they could have saved £206 on the fee for a single housing development application. This equates to over £4.8million wasted by unnecessary applications [8].

Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket said, “Improving your home can be an exciting but challenging time, especially when it comes to planning permission. The good news is there are a range of government and independent sources available to help you understand how things work.

“Despite three quarters of people saying that the planning permission process wasn’t an enjoyable experience, nearly nine in 10 applications were successful last year. Hopefully that means the difficulties faced by applicants are generally paying off.

“If you are looking to build your own home, there are specialist self-build mortgages available and it’s important to do your research and shop around before making your decision.”

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