The London Councils that Approve Most Planning Permission Applications
By |Published On: 18th May 2015|

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The London Councils that Approve Most Planning Permission Applications

By |Published On: 18th May 2015|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

If you’re a Londoner looking to change your property, living in Wandsworth or Kensington and Chelsea will be your best bet at getting your planning permission application approved. In these boroughs, up to 92% of proposals are permitted.

Planning consultancy Daniel Watney LLP has conducted an audit on the outcome of planning proposal applications in the last 12 months. Within the capital, there are wide gaps between the amount of approvals, with some councils rejecting two out of three plans.

Over half of all applications received last year in Redbridge, Bromley, Newham, Croydon, Hillingdon, Greenwich and Harrow were overruled. In Enfield, North London, only 37% were agreed.

The London Councils that Approve Most Planning Permission Applications

The London Councils that Approve Most Planning Permission Applications

This will dishearten those looking to make improvement works on their home. Recently, the case of singer Robbie Williams reached the news when Led Zeppelin star Jimmy Page objected Williams’ plans to remodel his £17.5m Holland Park house. Page believed the job would impact his Grade I listed property.

However, Williams could be in luck, as the research found Kensington and Chelsea Council approves 81% of all applications.

Wandsworth Council permits 92% of proposals, and Southwark, Camden and Tower Hamlets councils accept over 80%.

Nick Willson, Director of Nick Willson Architects, thinks Londoners could be to blame for rejected plans, as they often do not give enough information and details within their applications. However, he also says that some councils simply do not like contemporary design.

He explains: “Planning permission for one house we had was thrown out due to proposals for a flat roof; the councillor said she didn’t like flat roofs and would reject all schemes with flat roofs.”1

Director of Satellite Architects, Kristin Cross, also believes some homeowners are bound to fail because their plans breach local or national planning rules. She says that research is boring, but necessary.

As with Williams, neighbours can be a big problem. Another story to highlight the issue was when 71-year-old Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring painted her home in West London with red and white stripes because her neighbours had objected proposals to demolish the house and rebuild it with a two-storey basement.

Creative Director of Ensoul Interior Architecture, Viki Lander, says that neighbours should be involved from the beginning: “It is crucial to present your plans to them before submitting to planning.

“Explain what you plan to do and why. People really are understanding and can even be major advocates once they know that you are trying to get more living space for kids that are on the way.”1 

Lander suggests offering to pay neighbours for cleaning their windows and cars from any building dust.

Although Director of RCKa Architects, Russell Curtis, thinks the main barrier is underfunding: “Most planning departments are overworked and under resourced, so junior, less-experienced case officers tend to be assigned smaller domestic schemes.

“It is often easier for them to refuse an application instead of taking time to understand it and reaching an informed decision within the statutory eight-week determination period.”1






About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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