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Northern Powerhouse deciding more major schemes than the capital

Published: Thursday, 13th October 2016

Fifth annual planning survey by the British Property Federation and GL Hearn finds that the Northern Powerhouse is delivering more major planning application decisions per capita than Greater London…

The fifth annual planning survey, published this week by the British Property Federation and GL Hearn, has found that the Northern Powerhouse is delivering more planning decisions per capita than Greater London.

For the first time, the research examined major application decisions across 25 boroughs in the Northern Powerhouse, showing that they made 11 major planning application decisions per 100,000 residents, compared to nine decisions per 100,000 residents in Greater London. 

The largest ever independent assessment of the planning system has also shown that despite a lack of resources at some local planning authorities, the planning system has broadly stabilised after some years of flux.

Average decision making times remained stable at 31 weeks, overall approval ratings for major applications held steady at approximately 87 per cent and there was a slight dip in the overall volume of major applications decided.

Despite this, the survey showed that overall sentiment in the industry is the worst it has ever been, with more planning officers (65 per cent) and developers (36 per cent) than ever concerned that the system is getting worse.

Some 80 per cent of applicants were dissatisfied with the time it takes for decisions to be made on planning applications, the highest figure since the survey began in 2012.

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Roger Milne