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This is Where it’s Easiest and Hardest to Get Planning Permission in the UK

This is Where it’s Easiest and Hardest to Get Planning Permission in the UK
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The City of London is the easiest place to get planning permission in the UK, according to new research.

A number of factors can influence how likely you are to obtain planning permission, such as whether your planned build would have a negative impact on the neighbourhood, but where you live could also be an important factor to consider. 

Leader Floors examined the last eight years of planning application data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and calculated the percentage of planning applications that were accepted and rejected. 

From over 300 district planning authorities analysed, the City of London is the best place to live for home renovators, where a staggering 98.7% of planning requests were granted.

Easiest Places to Get Planning Permission in the UK

(Image credit: Leader Floors)

The areas closest behind were Copeland in Cumbria with 96.4%, the Isles of Scilly with 95.6% and Richmondshire with 95.5%.

The research also revealed that Cornwall had the most planning permission applications (107,000) as well as the most approved and denied major requests, such as adding a conservatory or extension. The Isles of Scilly had the lowest number of requests (946), the vast majority of which were for small home improvements and nearly all approved.

Where’s the Hardest Place to Get Planning Permission?

Maldon in Essex is the hardest place to obtain planning permission, with 40.4% of applications denied over the last eight years.

It is similarly hard to seek planning approval in East Hertfordshire, where 39% of applications were rejected, followed by Hillingdon (38.9%), Enfield (37.4%) and Harrow (37%).

Hardest Places to Get Planning Permission in the UK

(Image credit: Leader Floors)

Explaining the findings, Marc Husband, project design lead at Leader Floors, said that because different areas have specific building regulations, this can influence planning constraints for projects such as renovating a house.

“With more people spending more time at home than ever before, it’s natural we’re looking for small ways to improve our surroundings. If you’re considering submitting a planning permission application, it’s worth checking out how likely it is to be approved, based on your location,” he said.

“This new data can help guide home enthusiasts on where their next big purchase might be, if they’re looking to flip a property.”

Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms. 


He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.