Lockdown had a major impact on the number of people applying for planning permission, with numbers from April, May and June 2020 down 21% on the same time period in 2019.
The research, from bridging loans broker Octagon Capital, analysed government data and found that the decrease in planning permission applications during lockdown is far more significant than in 2019, where there was only a 5% decrease in applications during the second quarter of the year. In 2018, there was only a 3% decrease.
However, the likelihood of having an application approved has not been affected. 87% of planning permission applications in 2020 have been approved, marginally lower than the two years beforehand (88%).
Regionally, the North East and Yorkshire & Humber both saw a 27% drop in the percentage of planning permission applications between the second quarter of 2020 and the same period of 2019, the largest in the country. On the other hand, the South West has seen a 17% decrease, which is the lowest.
Percentage difference in the number of planning permission applications between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020
|Region||Percentage Difference in Planning Permission Applications, Q2 2019 – Q2 2020|
|Yorkshire & Humber||-27%|
|East of England||-22%|
Planning permission applications in the North East were the most likely to be approved during lockdown, with a 94% approval rating. Meanwhile, only 79% of applications from London were approved, the lowest rate nationwide.
Dan Kettle, commercial director at Octagon Capital, commented: “Covid-19 has impacted every aspect of our lives, but the 21% drop in the number of planning permission applications during lockdown is particularly telling when it comes to looking at how Brits are prioritising their finances during a difficult time.
“There are positives from this research for those who still want to expand, for example to build a home office to help them work from home. The approval rate for planning permission applications has remained high and at the similar level to 2019. The best way to ensure your application is approved is to do your research beforehand and bringing in an architect to ensure your plans are up to scratch.”