Home » Planning approvals increased in June, says analysis

Planning approvals increased in June, says analysis

by Mark Cantrell
Planning approvals saw a rise ahead of the July general election, showing a 14% increase from June 2023, and a 30% increase from May, according to the latest analysis from Barbour ABI.

Planning approvals saw a rise ahead of the July general election, showing a 14% increase from June 2023, and a 30% increase from May, according to the latest analysis from Barbour ABI.

Medical & healthcare played a large part with the £700m Monklands Hospital Replacement Project getting the green light, however residential approvals were also up 103% for June – the highest in over 18 months.

The approval of a 1,500 house development in Manchester played a key part of the rise.

Ed Griffiths, head of business and client analytics at Barbour ABI, said: “Kier Starmer’s Labour Party has pledged to unlock the planning system to build 1.5m homes during the current parliament, so this uplift in approvals will come as welcome news to the incoming government.

“Labour ran on promises of changing planning policy and energy reform, but any announcements will take a while before they impact shovels in the ground. As a result, business confidence will play a key part in the early days of the government.

“In particular, we may see more activity in residential and green energy sectors now the election has been decided.”

Planning applications in May continued to fall, however, as “stasis” gripped the industry ahead of the election.

Overall, application value was down 12% from May 2023 and was at its lowest for over 18 months. Residential and infrastructure, the two highest value sectors, continued to feel the squeeze, falling 16% and 6% respectively from the previous month.

Griffiths added: “Looking ahead, all eyes will be on planning applications following the election. Businesses have long been holding off committing to new projects due to political and economic uncertainty, so this is where we should see the biggest shifts if Labour’s victory turns out to be the news the industry was waiting for.”

Contracts awards were “unstable” in June, falling 16% overall from the previous month. A disappointing month after a positive May saw education and industrial dipping the most.

Gains in commercial and retail, and infrastructure were the only positives as all other sectors fell behind. Residential contract awards were the most stable, falling just 11%.


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