The easiest and hardest places to get planning permission revealed

The easiest and hardest places to get planning permission revealed

Data analysed by GetAgent shows where the hardest and easiest places are to secure planning permission in the UK.

With property prices skyrocketing over the past few years many homeowners are turning to developing their current property by extending, renovating and re-imagining their homes. However, with so many building regulations, plans need to be approved by local authorities and there can be a lot of hoops to jump through before your building plans get the go ahead. 

Property experts at GetAgent analysed planning permission application data to reveal where in the UK is home to the easiest and hardest places to secure planning permission. So, whether you’re planning a loft conversion to give you an extra bedroom as your family grows, or a full property renovation to bring your dream home to life, these are the locations where you’re most likely to get your home projects approved. 

The easiest places to get planning permission 

Those living outside of London have a higher chance of getting their application approved, with rural areas in England being more fortunate when it comes to getting plans signed off. Copeland in Western Cumbria, tops the list as the easiest place to get a planning application approved, with an impressive 99.65% of applications getting the green light. In second place is Richmondshire, North Yorkshire with 98.68% of planning permission applications getting approved, followed by Torridge in North-West Devon with a staggering 98.67% approval rate. 

Halton, Cheshire and Fareham, Portsmouth round off the top five, with applications for home improvement work in both areas achieving an approval rate of over 98%. 

The Top Ten Easiest Places to Get Planning Permission 

Rank Area % of planning applications accepted 
1 Copeland, Cumbria 99.65% 
2 Richmondshire, North Yorkshire 98.68% 
3 Torridge, Devon 98.67% 
4 Halton, Cheshire 98.34% 
5 Fareham, Hampshire 98.24% 
6 South Norfolk 98.14% 
7 Knowsley, Merseyside 98.10% 
8 Mendip, Somerset 98.05% 
9 South Oxfordshire 97.92% 
10 South Derbyshire 97.73% 

The hardest places to get planning permission 

London is home to the hardest places to get planning permission, with six of the top ten being found in the English capital. Topping the list overall is Barking and Dagenham, with just over two thirds (66.07%) of planning permissions getting accepted in the East London borough. The North West London borough, Brent is the second hardest place to get an application approved, with just 67.63% of those submitted getting accepted, followed by Maldon in Essex with seven in ten applications (70.48%) being accepted by the local authorities.  

Making up the top five are Hounslow in West London, with an accepted rate of 71.91% and Watford in Hertfordshire, with 72.64% of applications being accepted.  

The Top Ten Hardest Places to Get Planning Permission 

Rank Area % of planning applications accepted 
1 Barking and Dagenham, London 66.07% 
2 Brent, London 67.63% 
3 Maldon, Essex 70.48% 
4 Hounslow, West London 71.91% 
5 Watford, Hertfordshire 72.64% 
6 Greenwich, London 72.75% 
7 Hillingdon, London 72.83% 
8 Thurrock, Essex 73.39% 
9 Epping Forest, Essex 74.43% 
10 Enfield, London 75.47% 

Colby Short, CEO and cofounder of GetAgent added: 

“Getting your planning application approved can be a tricky and timely process, however there are ways to ensure you stand the best chance to get the green light to go ahead with your proposed plans.  

Hiring an architect who has detailed knowledge in this area will really help you make sure you’re on the right track, as they can highlight any potential issues authorities might have with your plans, and suggest ways to adapt your application to make sure you have the best chance of getting an approval. Another way to help you get approved is to do some research on similar plans within your area, and talk to your neighbours who may have recently undergone building work.” 

For more information on the easiest and hardest areas across the country to get planning permission approved, please visit: 

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