A new release calendar has been launched on GOV.UK. The Publication Hub website will soon be decommissioned.

Skip to content

Planning Applications Statistics contain quarterly and annual information on development control activities: planning applications, decisions, consents and enforcements from district-level and county-level authorities. These are provided at a national, regional and local authority level.

Publications

Affordable Housing Securing Planning Consent, Scotland
Department: Scottish Government
Planning Applications granted consent with provision for affordable housing (including public subsidy and private contributions).
Development Control Statistics, England
Department: Communities and Local Government
Development control at national, regional and local planning authority level.
Housing and Planning Key Facts
Department: Communities and Local Government
Main planning and housing data.
Housing and Planning Statistics
Department: Communities and Local Government
Compendium of housing and planning statistics covering most aspects of housing and planning in England
Planning Applications, England
Department: Communities and Local Government
Information on planning applications and decisions provided at national, regional and local authority level.
Previously Developed Land that may be available for development, England
Department: Communities and Local Government
Previously-developed land that was developed but is now vacant or derelict with known potential for redevelopment.

Back to the top

Overview

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) publishes quarterly and annual statistics on development control activities undertaken by district-level and county-level local planning authorities in England. These publications are National Statistics.

Planning applications and decisions

District-level planning authorities receive and determine (grant or refuse) planning applications for development. These developments are classified as large-scale major, small-scale major, minor and other developments.  Major and minor developments consist of residential, offices, industrial, retail and gypsies and travellers’ pitches whilst householder developments make up more than half of all applications for other developments.
 
County-level planning authorities receive and determine (grant or refuse) planning applications for development. These applications are mainly for mineral extraction and waste disposal developments and are classified as major, minor and other developments.

Enforcement Activity

Local planning authorities have discretionary powers to take formal enforcement action if, in their view, an unacceptable breach of planning control has occurred. These actions consist of Enforcement Notices, Stop Notices and Breach of Condition Notices.

Investigative Activity

Local planning authorities may also serve a Planning Contravention Notice on an occupier or developer in order to obtain information about activities on land where a breach of planning control is suspected.

Back to the top

Technical Data

Planning applications

Statistics of planning applications and by authorities that undertake district level planning activity have been collated, on a quarterly basis, since April 1979 on the Planning Statistics General Development Control statistical returns (District).

The PS1 return collates aggregate information on planning and development control activities whilst the PS2 return provides a detailed breakdown on planning decisions undertaken by district-level planning authorities. Since April 2008, the PS1, PS2 and the Fee1 (revenue collected in respect of PS1 and PS2) returns, have been combined as a single return, the PSF return. 

Information on planning applications for authorities that undertake county level planning activity is collated on the CPS1/2 General Development Control statistical returns (County Matters). CPS1/2 is a combined return consisting of aggregate information on planning and development control activities and detailed information on individual applications for planning permissions undertaken by county-level planning authorities.

Information on planning and development control activities are reported to the department via Interform: the department’s housing and planning electronic data collection system.

Both the PSF and CPS1/2 returns submitted by local planning authorities undergo thorough validation and checks. Inconsistent data highlighted during validation and checks are verified by contacting the local authority.

Late returns are pursued to ensure the overall response rate is as high as possible. Where a response rate of 100 per cent is not achieved estimates are imputed for non-responding district-level planning authorities. No estimates are made where data on enforcement action have not been provided by district-level or county-level planning authorities.

Back to the top

Glossary

  • Change of Use

    Many developments involve some change of land use but a decision should only be classified to ‘Change of Use’ if: (i) the application does not concern a major development; and (iia) no building or engineering work is involved; or (iib) the building or engineering work would be permitted development were it not for the fact that the development involved a change of use.

  • County level (or ‘county matters’) planning applications

    Predominantly concern minerals extraction and waste disposal developments. Authorities undertaking county level planning include county councils, metropolitan districts, unitary authorities, London boroughs, national park authorities and urban development corporations. However, because of the nature of county matters applications, the large majority are handled by the county councils.

  • District-level planning activity

    Activities undertaken by metropolitan and non-metropolitan districts, unitary authorities, national park authorities and urban development corporations. These authorities deal with all other planning applications that are not classified as county matters and mainly include applications for planning permissions on residential, offices, industrial, retail and householder developments.

  • Enforcement activities

    Enforcement Notice issued by a local planning authority requires an alleged breach of planning control to be remedied. If the authority considers that the activity alleged in an enforcement notice should cease before the end of the specified compliance period, they may serve a Stop Notice prohibiting continuation of that activity. Where conditional planning permission has been granted for a development of land and there has been a failure to comply with one or more of the conditions, an authority may serve a Breach of Condition Notice on any person who is carrying out or has carried out development, or anyone having control of the land, requiring compliance with the conditions specified in the notice.

  • Householder developments

    Householder developments are defined as those within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse which require an application for planning permission and are not a change of use. Included in householder developments are extensions, conservatories, loft conversions, dormer windows, alterations, garages, car ports or outbuildings, swimming pools, walls, fences, domestic vehicular accesses including footway crossovers, porches and satellite dishes.Excluded from householder developments are: applications relating to any work to one or more flats, applications to change the number of dwellings (flat conversions, building a separate house in the garden), changes of use to part or all of the property to non-residential (including business) uses, anything outside the garden of the property (including stables if in a separate paddock).

  • Large-scale major developments

    Those where the number of residential units to be constructed is 200 or more. Where the number of residential units to be constructed is not given in the application, a site area of four hectares or more should be used. For all other uses a large-scale major development is one where the floor space to be built is 10,000 square metres or more, or where the site area is two hectares or more.

  • Mineral applications

    Most decisions on minerals applications are 'county matters'. However, a small number of decisions - those which fall within the National Land Use categories MI01D (mineral handling installations), MA06A (bricks/pottery etc manufacture) and TR05B (pipelines, conveyors) - are not county matters.

  • Minor Developments

    Where the number of dwellings to be constructed is between one and nine inclusive. Where the number of dwellings to be constructed is not given in the application, a site area of less than 0.5 hectares should be used as the definition of a minor development. For all other uses, a minor development is one where the floor space to be built is less than 1,000 square metres or where the site area is less than one hectare.

  • Planning performance agreements (PPA)

    Voluntary agreements between a local planning authority and an applicant which provides a project management framework for handling a large-scale major planning application. This framework should improve and speed up the planning process by committing both parties to an agreed timetable containing ‘milestones’, by clarifying in advance what level of evidence, resources and community engagement are required, and by ensuring that all relevant aspects such as sustainability assessments and design standards are properly considered. Where the agreed timescale has been adhered to applications with PPAs are not included in the 13-week target.

  • Small-scale major developments

    Those where the number of residential units to be constructed is between 10 and 199 (inclusive). Where the number of dwellings to be constructed is not given in the application, a site area of 0.5 hectare and less than four hectares should be used as the definition of a small-scale major development. For all other uses, a small-scale major development is one where the floor space to be built is 1,000 square metres and up to 9,999 square metres or where the site area is one hectare and less than two hectares.

Back to the top

Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Grant Kelly

Email: planning.statistics@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 303 44 42277

Back to the top