New planning application statistics for England have just been published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for the third quarter of 2018, from July to September.
They show that permission for 359,500 homes was given in the rolling year to 30 September 2018, up two per cent compared to the 352,100 homes consented in the rolling year up to 30 September 2017.
In fact, this year's figure is the highest recorded number of homes granted permission for the July-June period since 2007.
The rolling September 2018 figure is up two per cent compared to the year up to the previous quarter, ending on 30 June 2018, when 351,700 homes were granted permission. However, it is still not as high as the number of homes consented in the year up to 31 March 2018, when 365,700 homes were granted permission. This marked the highest rolling year figure of any period since 2007.
The figures also show a continued drop in prior approval applications. Councils received 9,600 prior approval applications between July and September 2018, down eight per cent from the same quarter of 2017.
Among this total, the number of prior approval applications for office to residential conversions decreased by 26 per cent, for agricultural to residential conversions by 12 per cent; and for larger householder extensions by six per cent;
In addition, in the three months between July and September 2018, English local planning authorities:
- received 110,300 applications for planning permission, down six per cent compared to the period between July and September 2017;
- granted 93,300 decisions, down six per cent from the same quarter in 2017. This equates to 89 per cent of decisions, up one percentage point from the same quarter of 2017
- decided 88 per cent of major applications within 13 weeks or the agreed time, down one percentage point from a year earlier;
- granted 11,800 residential applications, down six per cent on a year earlier: 1,600 for major developments and 10,200 for minors;
- granted 2,300 applications for commercial developments, down 10 per cent on a year earlier.
Meanwhile, 28 per cent of planning application decisions in the third quarter of 2018 involved a performance agreement, the joint-highest figure of any quarter ever.
Performance agreements are where applicants and councils agree a determination timescale. These include planning performance agreements, extensions of time agreements and environmental impact assessments.
Housing minister Kit Malthouse said: "I am pleased to see builders, developers and councillors have co-operated to enable almost 360,000 homes in the last year, as we strive to build more, better, faster.
"Thanks to our reforms the planning system is starting to deliver the permissions we need to reach 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s, but there is much more work for us to get this over the line."
In October, trade body the Home Builders Federation and construction analyst Glenigan, as part of their regular Housing Pipeline research, found that 369,254 homes were granted permission in the 12 months to June 2018.
Planning applications in England: July to September 2018 can be found here.