Property

Planning objections rise to an average of 37 per hour

Warren Lewis
|
30th October 2019
planning

Since 2017, 870,000 planning applications have been made across the UK, prompting nearly two million objections.

According to Churchill Home Insurance, as homeowners opt to expand their homes and towns and cities develop amenities to cope with ever changing needs, planning departments across the country are being inundated with 893 application forms every day, which is 37 per hour.

These applications include building new homes, hotels, hospitals, car parks, wind turbines, creating landfill sites and waste industries as well as extensions to existing properties. On average, each planning application receives 2.2 objections.

NIMBYs (“Not in My Back Yard”) are those who are opposed to an organisation, building or project being developed too close to where they live. With so many complaints across the UK, this works out at around 80 objections having been raised every hour over the past three years by NIMBYs.

Further research reveals the issues that Britons feel they are in their rights to object to. Private rights of access (51 per cent) was the most commonly-cited reason, with loss of view and land and boundary disputes coming an equal second (both 50 per cent). Negative impact on property value (43 per cent) and the impact of construction works (39 per cent) completed the top five.

Regional findings

Regionally, the East of England has the highest number of planning applications per 1,000 residents, with 19.3 applications per 1,000 over the last three years. This is closely followed by Northern Ireland (18.7 per 1,000) and the South East (18.1 per 1,000).

London has received the highest number of objections, with a staggering 482,000 raised since 2017 which is over a quarter (26 per cent) of all objections noted. Overall, 55 objections have been raised in the capital since the start of 2017 for every 1,000 people living there. The South East comes a close second with 441,000 objections raised (49 per 1,000), followed by the South West (200,000, or 39 per 1,000) and the East of England (170,000, or 28 per 1,000).

South Lanarkshire Council in Scotland has received the highest number of complaints for a single planning application in the past three years. This occurred in 2017 when 7,080 people registered their objections for the Hamilton incinerator, which was commissioned in 2013.

Despite 54 per cent of UK adults believing councils do not take enough account of residents’ objections when determining planning approvals, the project was eventually abandoned in June 2019 following one in every 45 people living in the area complaining about it.

Other areas where a high volume of objections have been registered for a single planning application include Newcastle-upon-Tyne (3,937), Swale (3,734) and Aberdeenshire (3,004).

Craig Rixon, Head of Churchill home insurance, said: “The environment in which we live is constantly evolving. Whether it be homes needing to expand for growing families or changes to towns and cities to cope with demands, planning permission is at the forefront of it all. Although many new developments like hospitals and car parks are used by most of society, it is understandable that people would not want them to be situated close to their home. Not everyone can afford to or wants to move, so often we are left with no choice but to complain about the unwanted facility.

Our home insurance cover offers a 24-hour Legal advice line so anyone wanting to discuss how best to handle this situation is encouraged to call and seek some guidance from a legal expert.”

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