Planning application insights: unlocking opportunities

Ever wondered what stands between an idea for a new building and its actual construction? It's the world of planning applications—a critical, yet often complex, part of property development. These applications are more than just paperwork; they're the keys that can unlock your project's potential or put it on hold.

November 17, 2023

Understanding planning applications

A planning application is a formal request to a local planning authority (LPA) for permission to build or modify a property. It's a critical step in ensuring that any proposed development aligns with local planning policies, takes environmental considerations into account, and meets community interests.

Timeframes and categories of planning applications

Typically, a decision on a standard planning application is expected within 8 weeks, whereas major applications - those involving larger developments - have a 13-week timeframe. A project falls into the 'major' category if it proposes ten or more homes, or has a significant size in terms of area or floor space.

The planning application process

The journey of a planning application begins online, through the national Planning Portal. Once submitted and paid for, the local planning authority evaluates the application for completeness. A valid application triggers an eight or 13-week timeframe, during which the application is publicised for public and expert consultation. The decision, ideally made by the agreed determination date, can be appealed to the Planning Inspectorate if the council fails to issue it in time.

Outcomes of planning applications

The outcome of a planning application can be approval, conditional approval, or refusal. Approvals often come with conditions, categorised as pre-commencement, pre-occupation, or operational conditions. Developers should note that permissions typically need to be implemented within three years. If refused, an application can be amended and resubmitted or appealed.

The importance of planning data for developers

For developers, diving into planning application data is more than a due diligence step; it's a strategic move. Analysing this data provides insights into local planning trends, historic application decisions, and potential future opportunities. This knowledge is instrumental in shaping successful planning proposals.

Searchland: A powerful tool for planning application analysis

Remember the days when sifting through historical planning applications was a tedious, resource-intensive task? Back then, locating planning applications and decision notices was straightforward enough, but extracting meaningful data and insights from them? That was a whole different ball game — time-consuming and often challenging. This is where Searchland comes into play, offering a comprehensive, user-friendly platform for in-depth analysis of planning data.

Key features of Searchland:

Dynamic map-based search: Toggle between different filters while exploring an area - see the planning applications visually outlined on the map or search specifically for ‘residential only’ applications. Identify approved, rejected, or pending applications with a helpful colour-code key and, gain crucial insights into specific locations.

Strategic layers for enhanced analysis: Apply strategic layers like council and settlement boundaries over planning data for more nuanced searches and deeper insights, identifying potential development hotspots.

Comprehensive query tool: Utilise a robust query tool with extensive search criteria, including decisions, applicant details, planning references, and more, making it a comprehensive tool for planning research. Stack various criteria together like ‘more than 10 dwellings’ + ‘application rejected’ to hone in on specific examples.

Keyword searches for bespoke results: Search for keywords within proposals to quickly identify planning applications that align with their project vision. Whether it's searching for terms like "Green Belt" or "Class Q," this feature streamlines the process of finding relevant applications.

Planning application insights in Searchland

Instant data visualisation: View planning application data in list or graph formats, with graphical representations revealing decision trends, approval rates, and application volumes over time.

Uncover trends and planning sentiment: Explore a wide range of filters and criteria to study both recent and historic planning applications, offering insights into long-term planning trends and local authority sentiments.

Easy access to planning documents: Cycle through filtered applications via our simple and clean UI - and access related planning documents in a click.

The planning application process is a foundational aspect of property development. Understanding its nuances and leveraging planning data can significantly influence the success of a project. At Searchland we empower developers to utilise these insights and tools for more informed and strategic decision-making in their ventures.

To get started,  jump on a demo with our team so they can show you our full set of features.

May 9, 2024

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