Easy Planning Permission

In a recent government move, new rules have been laid out in parliament that will make it easier to make certain changes to your home, removing the need to submit full planning permission to add an extra two floors to a house. While it may become easier for some to get planning permission with the new legislation, it hasn’t always been so simple.

There are a number of reasons that you may find yourself applying for planning permission, from adding an extension onto your home, to building an entirely new structure on your property, although it’s not always as simple as filing the right paperwork and getting started on the building work, as there are countless reasons why an application may be rejected.

However, there are some areas of the country where you may find it a little easier to get a favourable decision than others. Have you got big plans for your property? Take a look at our research to find out the best locations for homeowners looking to make some big changes.

We took a look at government data to find out the percentage of planning permission applications that were granted. So, which are the best locations, counties and regions of England with the highest rates of planning permission approvals?

When we look at the data relating to planning permission decisions in England in 2019, we find that Richmondshire in North Yorkshire has the highest approval rate for applicants with 99% of the decisions granted.
The UK shire districts with the highest approval rates for planning permission:

1. Richmondshire, North Yorkshire - 99% of decisions granted

2. Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria - 97% of decisions granted

2. Carlisle, Cumbria - 97% of decisions granted

2. Copeland, Cumbria - 97% of decisions granted

2. Erewash, Derbyshire - 97% of decisions granted

2. North West Leicestershire, Leicestershire - 97% of decisions granted

2. Rushmoor, Hampshire - 97% of decisions granted

3. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire - 96% of decisions granted

4. Eden, Cumbria - 96% of decisions granted

5. Havant, Hampshire - 96% of decisions granted

Metropolitan districts with the highest approval rates for planning permission:
Looking specifically at those areas in the UK’s biggest cities (metropolitan districts) the metropolitan districts with the highest approval rates for planning permission were Bury (Greater Manchester), Knowsley (Merseyside) and North Tyneside (Tyne & Wear), all of which saw - 96% of applications approved.
1. Bury - 96%
1. Knowsley - 96%
1. North Tyneside - 96%
2. Salford - 95%
2. Stockport - 95%
3. Gateshead - 94%
3. Liverpool - 94%
3. Sefton - 94%
3. Solihull - 94%
3. South Tyneside - 94%

As we could see when looking at the different counties, it seems to be easier to obtain planning permission in the north of the country than the south, and this shows when we look at the different regions. The top three regions are the three most northerly regions of England, with the North East having 93.1% of decisions granted, closely followed by Yorkshire and the Humber with 91.78% and the North West with 91.05%
The UK regions that grant planning permission the most:

  1. North East - 93.1% of decisions granted
  2. Yorkshire and the Humber - 91.78% of decisions granted
  3. North West - 91.05% of decisions granted
  4. South West - 90.53% of decisions granted
  5. West Midlands - 90.37% of decisions granted
  6. East Midlands - 90.35% of decisions granted
  7. South East - 87.96% of decisions granted
  8. East of England - 84.71% of decisions granted
  9. London - 80.30% of decisions granted

When we look at London, we can see that the more centralised boroughs tend to have the higher approval rates, with the City of London, Camden, Wandsworth and Kensington and Chelsea all having approval rates of 90% or higher.

The London boroughs with the highest approval rates for planning permission:

1. City of London - 98% of decisions granted
2. Camden - 92% of decisions granted
3. Wandsworth - 91% of decisions granted
4. Kensington and Chelsea - 90% of decisions granted
5. Hammersmith and Fulham - 88% of decisions granted
5. Merton - 88% of decisions granted
5. Westminster - 88% of decisions granted
6. Bexley - 87% of decisions granted
6. Haringey - 87% of decisions granted
6. Southwark - 87% of decisions granted

But remember, just because a lot of decisions are approved it doesn’t mean that these councils have lax standards. It can be because the local authority has clearly signalled what it will and won’t approve, meaning that local architects and developers have taken note and make sure they improve their chances from the start by fully understanding what will or won’t be acceptable to the council and staying inside the rules. If your project needs planning permission, take a close look at the planning section on your local council’s website to see what guidance is available.

And if you’re having home improvements done, remember to tell your home insurance provider.

Brought to you by our mortgage experts at comparethemarket.com.


All data is taken from government data on planning application statistics and pertains to planning permission applications and decisions in England for the year of 2019 and includes data relating to applications made for residential and business properties.

Using this data, we were able to group each location into counties and regions and take averages of the numbers provided.