Environmental statements fall as applications rise

4th May 2017

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Built environment ,
  • Planning ,
  • Public sector ,
  • Local government



English local authorities received fewer environmental statements in 2016 despite the number of major planning applications increasing.

Data from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) revealed that 397 statements were received by councils and national park authorities in the 12 months to the end of December 2016, compared with 463 in 2015. Last year, planning applications totalled 483,045, compared with 475,632 in 2015, up more than 1.5%.

Shire districts received almost half (46%) the number of statements submitted in 2016, with East Devon (11), Canterbury (nine) and North Devon (nine) given the most. There were 51 (13%) statements submitted to the 32 London boroughs plus the City of London, ten of which were received by Tower Hamlets.

Across the 35 metropolitan districts, 47 (12%) were submitted. Of these, Manchester received the largest number (18). Unitary authorities were handed 92 (23%), with Cornwall Council receiving ten.

Meanwhile, 23 (6%) statements were submitted to national parks authorities, with the Peak District receiving 83% of these (19). One statement was submitted to the London Legacy Development Corporation, the planning authority for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and surrounding area.

More than half (55%) of the 341 planning authorities in England listed by the DCLG received no environmental statements in the year to the end of 2016.

The number of planning applications has been rising over the past five years, and in 2016 the figure was almost 5% higher than in 2012, when 461,300 were submitted. Since 2012, the largest number of environmental statements in a single year was in 2014, when 841 were received.


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