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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.  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 in the North East with the best records for successfully defending their s78 appeals in 2020/21 were Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland, with 0% of their appeals overturned/ allowed by the Planning Inspectorate.  Newcastle continued last year's strong performance with only 14% allowed in 2020/21.

At the bottom of the league table this year were Hartlepool, South Tyneside and Middlesbrough, all with 50% or more of appeals allowed, significantly higher than the national average of 25% for 2020/21.

Northumberland is seeing a significant worsening in its appeal performance with 30% in 2021, up from 18% two years previously.  This is no doubt due to the stage of its Local Plan, which was undergoing its examination.

s78 planning appeals in the North East 2020/21 2019/20 2018/19
number decided % allowed number decided % allowed number decided % allowed
County Durham 43 19% 29 21% 36 17%
Darlington 6 0% 16 38% 8 13%
Gateshead 9 33% 8 25% 12 17%
Hartlepool 4 50% 6 17% 7 14%
Middlesbrough 4 75% 15 7% 11 36%
Newcastle upon Tyne 21 14% 49 12% 38 21%
North Tyneside 5 20% 6 33% 8 38%
Northumberland 50 30% 75 21% 33 18%
Northumberland National Park 0 - 0 - 1 0%
Redcar and Cleveland 6 0% 7 14% 6 33%
South Tyneside 2 50% 9 33% 4 0%
Stockton-on-Tees 16 25% 25 28% 20 45%
Sunderland 16 19% 21 19% 13 38%

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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