Planning by Numbers – Workload and throughput


Planning by Numbers – Workload and throughput

1. How many planning applications do you think your local Council receives?

2. What percentages of planning applications are granted permission?

3. Who makes the decisions? The Planning Officers or the Councillors sitting on a monthly Planning Committee?

You may be surprised by the answers to these questions.

Local Councils have to provide regular statistics to the Government on all aspects of the planning system. This information can then be checked on one of the Government department websites.

Using information for the first quarter of 2011 and looking at the Councils in the surrounding area:
East Hants DC made 345 decisions during the period, of which 90% were granted and 96% of the decisions were delegated to officers. The relative numbers for other Councils were:

Guildford BC – 368 – 73% and 96%
Surrey Heath BC – 187 – 91% and 84%
Waverley BC – 451 – 82% and 91%
Woking BC– 223 – 83% and 91%

Whilst these figures are just for a 3 month period, they are generally representative of the situation. I suspect you may have been surprised at:

1. The relatively high approval rate of applications – most people I speak to think that refusals would dominate, especially in an area like Surrey which is covered by restrictive Green Belt policies.

2. The high percentage of applications that are determined by officers, rather than being considered by a Planning Committee.

3. The variation in workloads between Councils. Guildford and Waverley handling substantially more applications than most of their Surrey neighbours.

This is not the whole workload though. To add to the processing of planning applications are other services including:

•Responding to appeals against refusals of permission
•Enforcement – handling complaints about unauthorised development
•Pre-application advice and other queries
•Preparing Planning Policies for the future.

Working with Wadham & Isherwood Farnham agency we are able to offer an all embracing service investigating not only the planning potential of sites but also the marketability of created accommodation taking full account of current requirements and trends within the highly selective market place.

Future articles are planned on providing other interesting facts and figures about the operation of the planning system and exposing the rapid
growth of planning gain requirements that developers now face.

Steve Thwaites
March 2012
Contact via 01252 710822 or stevet@wandi.co.uk