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Councils Feel Benefits Of Over £3 Billion New Homes Bonus

The Housing Minister recently confirmed that councils have received £3.4 billion as a bonus for enabling or allowing the construction or conversion of 800,000 new homes.

Mr. Lewis claimed that the impressive figures showed that communities are happy to say 'yes' to new development once the power to act has been put into their hands.

The new locally-led system and incentives such as the New Homes Bonus appears to be generating results, as planning permissions granted for homes for the year up to September rose to 240,000.

Planning Application Statistics For 2014

Graph For Illustrative Purposes Only

Image by Jim Rush

For the year ending September 2014, the following statistics are interesting:

  • Fewer decisions were made (down 2% on 2013), but there were still more planning applications granted (up 1% on 2013). Overall, approximately 85% of planning applications were granted in 2014 against a little over 82% of planning applications granted in 2013.
  • Planning performance agreements were used for around 26% of applications in 2014, compared with only 5% of applications in 2013.
  •  The number of decisions on householder developments (such as extensions to your house, or loft conversions) increased by 6%.

What does this mean?

Well, some of it could just be shuffling numbers around – since 1st July 2014, granny annexes have been counted as householder developments – this may have contributed towards the number of decisions on householder developments.

Fewer decisions being made but more planning applications being granted reflects a more efficient and developer-friendly planning application process.

This is further supported by the increased use of planning performance agreements to increase transparency and help developers to work alongside local authorities quickly and smoothly.

The government's aims are not necessarily to help developers (other than housing developers) directly, but usually revolve around making the planning application process faster, more efficient and more streamlined. However, if the actual trend towards smoother, more transparent and more easily-granted planning permission continues, 2015 could prove to be a great year to apply for planning permission.

Thinking Of Applying For Planning Permission?

At Kingsley Smith Solicitors LLP, we are able to help both private clients and corporations with planning permissions, whether you need help with the initial application or assistance with the appeals process.

We cover elements of planning permission from rights to light to tree preservation issues, and much more. Each case, and each council is different, so a simple case in one area can quickly become very complex in another.

If you're interested in our services, please get in touch and we'll discuss whether the services we offer are right for you.