House Design

The hardest places to get English planning permission – are you in one of the most rejected areas?

With ‘improve don’t move’ on our minds, more of us than ever are applying for planning permission, but your postcode might seriously be affecting your chances

English planning permission
(Image credit: Roofing Megastore)

With English planning permission and ‘improve don’t move’ on our minds, more of us than ever are applying, but where you live might seriously be affecting your chances

We’ve all been looking for ways to achieve extra space in our homes this year and many of us have been looking into plans to extend our homes.

English planning permission, whether it’s for kitchen extensions or loft conversions, has varied rates of approved applications depending on where it is you live. On average, a happy 91% of English planning permission applications are successful, but, depending on where your postcode, the success rate could be as low as 65% or even as high as a whopping 99%.

Considering homeowners have spent more than £64 million on unsuccessful planning applications over the past three years, it’s important to know your chances before you begin filling out those forms.

English planning permission lifestyle

(Image credit: Atlas Roof Solutions)

Eight out of the ten most difficult places to get planning permission are in London, but the hardest of all is Enfield, with a low success rate of only 65%. Londoners alone have spent an incredible £21 million over the past three years on unsuccessful applications. 

In fact, the only two places in the country outside of the capital to feature on the lowest success rate list are Rochdale, Manchester and Southend-on-Sea, Essex. 

English planning permission 1

(Image credit: Roofing megastore)

The 10 Hardest Places to Get Planning Permission in England: (based on % of applications granted)

1.      Enfield, London                                              65.13%

2.      Hillingdon, London                                        66.01%

3.      Harrow, London                                             69.56%

4.      Hounslow, London                                         71.24%

5.      Greenwich, London                                       71.47%

6.      Lambeth, London                                           73.55%

7.      Rochdale, Greater Manchester                   74.03%

8.      Southend-on-Sea, Essex                               74.46%

9.      Newham, London                                          76.02%

10.   Bromley, London                                            76.82%

On the other, more happy end of the spectrum, are the UK areas most likely to say yes to your next project. Overall, living in the north of the country increases your chances, with six of the top ten most likely to accept applications being situated there. London, however, doesn’t feature anywhere on this list.

English planning permission orangery

(Image credit: Atlas Roof Solutions)

The 10 Easiest Places to Get Planning Permission in England: (based on % of applications granted)

1.      Carlisle, Cumbria                                            98.90%

2.      Copeland, Cumbria                                        98.72%

3.      Richmondshire, North Yorkshire                98.17%

4.      Vale of White Horse, Oxfordshire              97.89%

5.      County Durham, North East                        97.82%

6.      Fareham, Hampshire                                     97.79%

7.      Cornwall, South West                                   97.39%

8.      Eden, Cumbria                                                97.38%

9.      North West Leicestershire, Midlands        97.36%

9.      Rushmoor, Hampshire                                  97.36%

10.   Darlington, County Durham                        97.29%

This research was supplied by Roofing Megastore, who analysed three years of data from the Ministry Of Housing.

Thea Babington-Stitt
Content Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is a Content Editor at Future. She has been an interiors journalist for nearly 10 years and has held positions at LivingEtc, Country Homes & Interiors and Homes & Gardens. Currently, she is writing for Ideal Home and Style At Home's websites and magazines.