Are we seeing the end of the post pandemic application submission boom?
Around 90% of online planning permissions are submitted via the Planning Portal. Our placement in the planning and development industry puts us in a unique position to offer unrivalled insight into proposed development.
Over the last year, we have seen an unprecedented amount of applications submitted. However, over the last couple of months there has been a slight decrease in application numbers. Last month saw fewer applications submitted than the previous month – 63,497 in May 2021, compared to 65,357 in April 2021.
The national graph represents the number of online planning application submissions via the Planning Portal each month since the beginning of 2016.
As you can see from the graph, the typical seasonal pattern is that applications rise from April into May, often steeply. It is too early to draw any definite conclusions from this variation. It could be that this is simply because April 2021 had higher numbers than a typical April, or that May 2021 had a particularly low number of working days compared to previous years, at only 19.
It may also be an indication that the bounce back of application volumes we have seen since last June is finally starting to slow. As we have consistently highlighted, other than an underlying shift to online submissions, the increase has been largely driven by homeowners intending to extend or improve their homes, and this is of course a finite market.
We will continue to monitor this pattern closely over the next couple of months. This should give us a good indication of the true picture, as volumes for May to July are usually similar before numbers drop slightly for the summer holiday period over August and into September.
Given that in May 2020 we were in lockdown, it is unsurprising that the volume of applications submitted this May is 52% higher than in the same month last year.
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Image supplied by Erwan Hesry.