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Comparison of success rates for planning appeals in Eastern England

There is significant variability across the local planning authorities in the Eastern Region in how successful they are in defending planning appeals.  Appealfinder's comparison tables for the past 3 years of PINS statistics are below, revealing some uncomfortable truths about the likelihood of success for s78 planning appeals for appellants and local planning authorities alike.

LPAs with the highest and lowest planning appeal success rates

The LPAs with the best records for successfully defending their s78 appeals in 2020/21 were East Cambridgeshire, Rochford and Thurrock, with 12% or less of appeals overturned/ allowed by the Planning Inspectorate. In East Cambridgeshire's case, this represents a significant improvement on the previous years, turning around a high failure rate of 45% of appeals allowed in 2018/19 and 30% in 2019/20 to only 11% in 2020/21.

At the bottom of the league table this year were Brentwood, South-on-Sea, Hertsmere and St. Edmundsbury with over 36% of their appeals allowed, significantly higher than the national average of 25%.

NB. This 'best' and 'worst' assessment excludes authorities with only 1 appeal in the year (generally County Councils and National Park authorities) as it is not fair to base any assessment on a single appeal.

LPAs in Eastern England 2020-2021 2019-2020 2018-2019
s78 planning appeals in East England number decided % allowed number decided % allowed number decided % allowed
Babergh 41 27% 60 22% 17 35%
Basildon 30 23% 38 29% 26 38%
Bedford 45 13% 49 31% 36 42%
Braintree 80 28% 103 37% 47 30%
Breckland 56 14% 40 28% 52 35%
Brentwood 36 36% 44 16% 32 28%
Broadland 16 13% 20 15% 29 28%
Broxbourne 14 21% 19 16% 16 6%
Cambridge 23 13% 16 25% 15 33%
Cambridgeshire county council 0 - 0 - 0 -
Castle Point 17 24% 14 14% 11 64%
Central Bedfordshire 73 22% 70 24% 56 34%
Chelmsford 43 19% 56 14% 29 7%
Colchester 23 26% 40 10% 24 29%
Dacorum 27 26% 46 43% 31 26%
East Cambridgeshire 38 11% 46 30% 29 45%
East Hertfordshire 66 29% 106 26% 74 23%
East Suffolk 82 23% 20 30% - -
Epping Forest 56 16% 77 13% 76 14%
Essex county council 0 - 0 - 0 -
Fenland 16 19% 44 25% 32 22%
Forest Heath 1 0% 7 29% 16 25%
Great Yarmouth 13 15% 12 17% 9 33%
Harlow 12 17% 13 15% 10 20%
Hertfordshire county council 4 25% 1 0% 0 -
Hertsmere 23 39% 40 35% 25 32%
Huntingdonshire 22 14% 38 16% 32 31%
Ipswich 10 20% 16 19% 7 0%
King's Lynn and West Norfolk 44 30% 48 15% 42 29%
Luton 38 32% 59 29% 34 26%
Maldon 47 28% 60 28% 70 37%
Mid Suffolk 50 18% 106 15% 45 22%
Norfolk county council 1 100% 0 - 2 100%
North Hertfordshire 20 20% 24 17% 23 26%
North Norfolk 21 14% 36 31% 27 30%
Norwich 11 27% 12 8% 16 19%
Peterborough 14 14% 27 22% 15 40%
Rochford 17 12% 23 30% 6 17%
South Cambridgeshire 46 22% 68 21% 81 21%
South Norfolk 43 14% 60 12% 32 28%
Southend-on-Sea 29 38% 53 25% 44 18%
St Albans 33 18% 45 16% 48 31%
St Edmundsbury 3 67% 24 13% 23 26%
Stevenage 3 33% 2 0% 3 33%
Suffolk county council 0 - 0 - 0 -
Suffolk Coastal 0 - 51 25% 38 16%
Tendring 53 30% 61 30% 73 33%
The Broads National Park 1 0% 5 0% 1 0%
Three Rivers 26 35% 27 26% 18 28%
Thurrock 25 12% 35 20% 18 11%
Uttlesford 73 32% 121 37% 40 33%
Watford 26 23% 30 27% 19 37%
Waveney 1 100% 19 11% 8 38%
Welwyn Hatfield 23 13% 39 36% 27 37%
West Suffolk 27 22% 10 20% - -

Change in planning appeal success rates over time

Some LPAs have improving performance, others worsening performance over time. This can reflect one or more of the following factors:
    • progress of a Local Plan
    • change in five year housing land supply position
    • LPAs granting permission more readily after experiencing a previous swathe of appeals (behaviour adjustment)
    • change in officers and/or councillors
    • statistical variance, particularly there are only a small number of appeals


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