In the second quarter of 1998, district planning authorities in England received 132,000 applications for planning permission and other related consents, 3 per cent fewer than in the corresponding period in 1997.
The number of applications received fell in all regions except the West Midlands where they were virtually unchanged. The largest reductions were in the East Midlands (down 8%), the North East (down 7%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (down 6%).
District planning authorities made 120,000 planning decisions in the second quarter of 1998, the same number as in the corresponding period in 1997. The largest increases were in Yorkshire
The number of decisions relating to householder developments in England was 8% higher than a year earlier, while the number relating to new dwellings fell by 3%. These accounted for 44% and 11% of all decisions respectively.
District planning authorities granted 88% of the applications they decided in the second quarter of 1998, the same as in the corresponding period in 1997. There was little change in approval rates for each region.
In the second quarter of 1998, 63%t of all planning decisions were made within the statutory 8 week period, 1 percentage point lower than in the corresponding quarter of 1997. The percentage of decisions made within 8 weeks increased in Merseyside (by 3 percentage points), was broadly unchanged in London and Yorkshire and the Humber and fell in all other regions.
Authorities made 85 per cent of all decisions within 13 weeks.
There were 39 authorities (11% of all those responding authorities) making 80 per cent or more of their decisions within the statutory 8 week period and 21 authorities making fewer than 40 per cent of decisions within 8 weeks.
Authorities for April to June 1998
Of the 362 district planning authorities, 352 provided figures in time for this publication (that is, 97 per cent of all authorities). The figures reported above and in Tables 1 to 3 include estimates for non-responding authorities.
decided under delegated powers
Since April 1997, district planning authorities have provided
information about the number of applications decided by planning
officers under a scheme of delegation and without referral to
committee or councillors.
Of the 349 authorities that provided information about delegated
decisions in the second quarter of 1998, only 4 per cent did not use
delegated powers for any decisions.
From April 1997, district planning authorities have provided
information about the number of applications decided which were
advertised as departures from the development plan in force, and the
number of departure applications which were granted.
A total of 351 authorities (97 per cent) were able to provide
this information for the period April to June 1998. Of the planning
decisions taken by these authorities, 829 were advertised as
departures from the development plan, just under 1 per cent of the
total. New dwellings accounted for 40 per cent of departures
decisions. An average of 56 per cent of departure applications were
granted, compared with 88 per cent of planning applications overall.
action by district planning authorities
In April to June 1998, district planning authorities issued 1,075 Enforcement Notices and served 1,303 Planning Contravention Notices, 396 Breach of Condition Notices and 42 Stop Notices. The high court or county court granted 17 Enforcement Injunctions and 7 were refused.
3 and 4 consents
Under Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, a
local planning authority makes an application to itself for
permission to develop land within its area, and determines that
application. In the second quarter of 1998, 1,062 Regulation 3
consents were granted and 120 Regulation 4 consents were granted.
Regulation 4 is concerned with planning permission for development of
land in which the local planning authority has an interest but which
it does not itself propose to carry out.
In the second quarter of 1998, district planning authorities
received 2,623 applications for determination whether local authority
approval is required for certain works. This is 35 per cent fewer
than in the corresponding period in 1997 (Table 6). District planning
authorities decided to intervene in 354 cases (13 per cent), a fall
of 3 percentage points on the first quarter of 1998.
County matters' planning applications are predominantly
concerned with minerals extraction and waste disposal developments.
They are decided by the county-level planning authorities - that is,
county councils, metropolitan districts, unitary authorities, London
boroughs, urban development corporations (within metropolitan areas)
and national park authorities. However, because of the nature of
county matters applications, the large majority are handled by the
County planning authorities receive about 2,000 county
matters' applications each year. This compares with about 500
thousand planning applications received by district planning
authorities. Quarterly figures for county matters' decisions are
likely to be much more variable than those for districts because of
the smaller numbers of such decisions.
pplications and decisions
In the second quarter of 1998, county planning authorities
received 470 planning applications, 24 percentage points lower than
for the corresponding quarter of 1997. County councils accounted for
78 per cent of total applications and metropolitan districts for a
further 12 per cent. Hampshire received the highest number of applications (25) in the quarter.
County planning authorities made 400 planning decisions in the
quarter, 17 per cent fewer than a year earlier. Of these, 89 per cent
were granted, the same as in the corresponding period in 1997. Waste
developments accounted for 61 per cent of total decisions and
minerals developments for 31 per cent. Cumbria, Kent and
Northumberland each reported the highest number of decisions (19) in
In the second quarter of 1998, 15 per cent of all decisions on
county matters' applications were made within the statutory 8 week
period, 3 percentage points higher than in the corresponding quarter
of 1997. Decisions were made within 13 weeks by 39 per cent of
authorities and within 17 weeks by 59 per cent.
County planning authorities have provided statistics on formal
enforcement action taken each quarter since April 1995.
In the period April to June 1998, county planning authorities
issued 32 Enforcement Notices and served 5 Stop Notices, 68 Planning
Contravention Notices and 15 Breach of Condition Notices.
Of the 157 county planning authorities, 151 (96 per cent)
provided figures in time for this publication.
. The term district planning authorities' describes the group of
authorities with responsibility for deciding planning applications at
district-level': metropolitan and non-metropolitan districts, new
unitary authorities (those created from April 1995 onwards), London
boroughs, national park authorities and (prior to 1 April1998) urban
. Statistics of planning applications received and decided by
district planning authorities have been collected on a quarterly
basis since April 1979, on the PS1 and PS2 General Development
Control statistical returns. Prior to April 1986, these returns
covered applications and decisions under Section 29 of the Town and
Country Planning Act 1971 (since replaced by Section 70 of the
consolidated Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which came into force
in August 1990).
. Since then, data collection has been extended to cover other
types of application requiring permission from local authorities,
including listed building consents, conservation area consents and
consent to display advertisements. This reflects the wider range of
planning casework handled by district planning authorities. From
April 1997, data have also been collected on receipt of Environmental
Statements with planning applications, on the use of delegated
powers, and on applications which the authority decided to advertise
as departures from the Development Plan.
. District planning authorities are sent the quarterly information
bulletin together with more detailed figures for individual
authorities in their respective Government Office region. These
provide a set of yardsticks against which authorities can judge their
. County councils, unitary authorities (from 1 April 1995),
metropolitan district councils, (including urban development
corporations prior to April 1998), London borough councils and
national park authorities are responsible for determining planning
applications and types of development described as county matters'.
These are predominantly concerned with minerals extraction and waste
disposal developments, as set out in Schedule 1 of the Town and
Country Planning Act 1990, the Town and Country Planning
(Prescription of County Matters) Regulations 1980 (SI 1980/2010) and
in Annex 7 of Planning Policy Guidance Note 23 Planning and
6. Until March 1986 decisions made by county councils had been
included in the returns (PS1/PS2) submitted by the district planning
authorities. A review of these returns in 1985 recommended that
information about county council applications should be collected
separately and a quarterly collection of county council development
control statistics relating to county matters' planning applications
(the CPS1/2 Return) was introduced from the beginning of April 1989.
From April 1992, data collection was extended to cover other types of
authority (listed above) with responsibility for county matters'
applications. From April 1995, the scope of the quarterly survey was
widened to include collection of data on enforcement action taken by
authorities relating to county matters' developments and from April
1997, data have also been collected on receipt of Environmental
Statements with county matters' planning applications.
. All figures included in the commentary have been calculated
using unrounded data. As a result, there may be some apparent
discrepancy with figures shown in the tables.
The reorganisation of local government in England has
necessitated a change in the presentation of statistics for local
We have undertaken a spring cleaning' exercise relating to
historic data since publication of the last Information Bulletin. A
number of outstanding queries on returns were resolved and several
duplicate records were removed from the database.
. The primary classification for the presentation of regional
statistics has changed from the Standard Statistical Regions (SSRs)
to Government Office Regions (GORs).
Figures for the Standard Statistical Regions are available on request
from the Planning and Land Use Statistics Division, Department of the
Environment, Transport and the Regions, 3/K9, Eland House, Bressenden
Place, London SW1E 5DU. Tel. 0171 890 5502 Fax. 0171 890 5519.