Planning Portal Annual Conference 2021
15-18 November 2021
Planning Portal Annual Conference 2021
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The regional view – Is the North East reaping the rewards of investment?

Our most recent data show that compared to May 2020, when the country was just beginning to open up after the first lockdown, the number of planning applications submitted throughout May 2021 has increased across all regions of England and Wales.

For the third month in a row the leading region, in terms of the number of applications submitted, is the North East with a 67% rise from last year.

Historically, the region has seen little activity in terms of development. Yet, since 2017, the North East has seen significant increases in business generation and investment. It boasts the most productive car plant in Europe, is home to the fastest growing digital tech cluster outside of London and is a well-established hub and gateway for offshore energy. Research from Carterwood shows the region saw the lowest development in care home provision throughout England in 2020 but has recently had a £5 million commitment from L & G to develop extra care developments to support the elderly. It is also aiming to ‘level up’ its educational prowess, with ‘Opportunity North East’ being implemented to help inspire young people from primary school age. Could these be the reason for the dramatic increases in activity?

Chart, bar chart

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The bar chart demonstrates the percentage difference between the previous year volumes for each English region and in Wales between May 2020 and May 2021.

The other way to look at it, is that London and the South East are becoming a saturated market. With heavy development, continually rising house prices, and a high demand for suitable land, are developers and industries looking for more cost-effective regions and new opportunities?

Nevertheless, the South East is the only region that has not realised a decrease between April and May 2021, seeing a 1% increase month on month with over 13,000 applications submitted. London follows into a close second place having submitted over 11,000 applications, although this is a 4% decrease on applications submitted throughout April 2021.


Description automatically generated
The map shows the percentage change in applications by region from April 2021 to May 2021.

This data, and much more, is available in the Planning Portal’s Planning Market Insight Report. Around 90% of online planning permissions are submitted via the Planning Portal, therefore our placement in the planning and development industry puts us in a unique position to offer unrivalled insight into proposed development.

The Planning Market Insight Report is the earliest source of planning market data available, and each issue features key high-level statistics as well as deeper analysis of a specific sector or topic. 

We have an exclusive insight into proposed development statistics and formulating this into our Planning Market Insight Report allows us to help businesses recognise prospects and strategically plan for the future.  

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