More planning applications for commercial developments are being approved by local authorities, new figures have shown.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics on 31 January, for the year ending in September 2013, showed that English district planning authorities approved 93.6 per cent of applications for major commercial developments, including offices, storage and warehousing, retail distribution and servicing, up by one per cent on 2012.
For major residential developments, the approvals figure of 82 per cent in 2013 dipped slightly from 83 per cent the year before while for minor commercial developments, the percentage of approvals figure edged upwards from 91.6 per cent in 2012 to 92 per cent.
The speed with which major developments were approved also increased. Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) where approved within 13 weeks, compared with 56 per cent the previous year, 79 per cent (77 per cent in 2012) were approved within 26 weeks.
The ONS found that overall between July and September 2013 district level planning authorities in England:
• decided 114,000 planning applications, three per cent more than in the same quarter in the previous year • granted 93,500 permissions, four per cent more than in the same quarter in 2012 • granted 88 per cent of applications in total, compared with 87 per cent in the same quarter in 2012.
The findings suggest that developers with robust planning applications can expect a positive response from planners and to be able to move projects from the drawing board to construction more quickly.
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