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Comparison of success rates for planning appeals in North East England

There is significant variability across the local planning authorities in the Eastern Region in how successful they are in defending planning appeals.  Appeal finder's league tables for 2019-20 and the previous year 2018-19 are below, revealing some uncomfortable truths about the likelihood of success for s78 planning appeals for appellants and local planning authorities alike.

s78 planning appeals
in the North East

2019/20 Local Plan
published (P),
submitted (S),
found sound (FS)
or adopted (A)
Jan 2018–May 20
2018/19

number decided number allowed % allowed number decided number allowed % allowed
County Durham 29 6 21% S June 2019 36 6 17%
Darlington 16 6 38%
8 1 13%
Gateshead 8 2 25%
12 2 17%
Hartlepool 6 1 17% A May 2018 7 1 14%
Middlesbrough 15 1 7%
11 4 36%
Newcastle upon Tyne 49 6 12%
38 8 21%
North Tyneside 6 2 33%
8 3 38%
Northumberland 75 16 21% S May 2019 33 6 18%
Northumberland National Park 0 0 - S Sept 2019 1 0 0%
Redcar and Cleveland 7 1 14% A May 2018 6 2 33%
South Tyneside 9 3 33%
4 0 0%
Stockton-on-Tees 25 7 28% A January 2019 20 9 45%
Sunderland 21 4 19% A January 2020 13 5 38%

For householder appeals please see the very bottom of the page.

LPAs with the highest and lowest planning appeal success rates

The LPAs with the best records for successfully defending their s78 appeals in 2019/20 in the North East were Middlesborough and Redcar & Cleveland, with less than 15% of their appeals overturned/ allowed by the Planning Inspectorate.

At the bottom of the league table this year in the North East were Darlington, North Tyneside and South Tyneside with over 30% of their appeals allowed, significantly higher than the national average of 24% in 2019/20.

Change in planning appeal success rates over time

A comparison with the Planning Inspectorate's data for the previous year 2018-19 shows a significant improvement for some local planning authorities and a decline for others. For example, Sunderland had a far lower proportion of appeals overturned in 2019/20 than in the previous year (19% in 2019/20 compared to 38% in 2018/19), no doubt related to the progress of its Local Plan.

Change over time can reflect various 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);
    • planning Inspectors being less inclined to allow an appeal due to individuals’ working styles and PINS guidance;
    • statistical variance or a small number of appeals.
The middle column in the table above highlights emerging Local Plans, which can in turn affect the housing land supply and change in a LPA’s approach to decision-making.

Householder appeals

Householder appeal rates for 2019/20 and a comparison with the previous year 2018/19 are below:

Householder planning appeals 2019/20 Local Plan
published (P),
submitted (S),
found sound (FS)
or adopted (A)
Jan 2018–May 20


2018/19
LPAs in the North East number decided number allowed % allowed
number decided number allowed % allowed
County Durham 4 1 25% S June 2019
6 1 17%
Darlington 3 2 67%

0 0 -
Gateshead 11 0 0%

8 1 13%
Hartlepool 6 3 50% A May 2018
3 0 0%
Middlesbrough 10 1 10%

7 2 29%
Newcastle upon Tyne 12 3 25%

12 6 50%
North Tyneside 6 1 17%

9 1 11%
Northumberland 16 1 6% S May 2019
9 0 0%
Northumberland 0 0 - S Sept 2019
0 0 -
Redcar and Cleveland 8 3 38% A May 2018
7 1 14%
South Tyneside 8 3 38%

8 1 13%
Stockton-on-Tees 17 6 35% A January 2019
6 0 0%
Sunderland 5 1 20% A January 2020
2 1 50%

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