The number of planning applications being made in England increased in the first quarter of 2017 and those granted have also increased, the latest official figures show.
Between January and March 2017, district level planning authorities in England received 123,300 applications for planning permission, up 3% on the corresponding quarter of 2016.
They also granted 89,500 decisions, up 4% from the same quarter in 2016 and equivalent to 87% of decisions but this is a fall of 1% over the same period. Some 87% of major applications were decided upon within 13 weeks or the agreed time, up from 83% a year earlier.
A breakdown of the data show that councils granted 12,300 residential applications, up 9% on a year earlier of which 1,700 were for major developments and 10,600 for minor projects, up on the same quarter of 2016 by 17% and 8% respectively.
They granted 2,600 applications for commercial developments, down 2% on a year earlier; and received 9,200 applications for prior approval for permitted development rights, up 2% from the same quarter of 2016. Of these, 1,400 applications were for changes to residential use, of which 1,000 were approved without having to go through the full planning process.
In the year ending March 2017, district level planning authorities granted 386,000 decisions, up 4% from the figure for the 12 months to March 2016 and granted 50,100 decisions on residential developments of which 6,600 were for major developments and 43,500 for minor developments. Up by 12% and 6% respectively.
They also granted 11,200 applications for commercial developments, down 1% on the year ending March 2016.
Overall, the percentage of decisions made in time varied widely between local planning authorities, ranging from 0 to 100% for major developments and 8% to 100% for minor developments and 29% to 100% for other developments
Householder developments, that is work to a house which require planning permission such as extensions, loft conversions and conservatories, saw a 5% rise from 48,000 decisions in the March quarter of 2016 to 50,300 decisions in the corresponding quarter in 2017, when they accounted for 49% of all decisions.
The figures also show that the authorities granted 90% of household applications and decided 92% within eight weeks or the agreed time.