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Comparison of success rates for planning appeals in North West England

There is significant variability across the local planning authorities in the North West in their performance in defending planning appeals.  Appeal finder's comparison 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.
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 West were Blackburn, Burnley, Halton, Eden, Lancater and Preston, with less than 10% of their appeals overturned/ allowed by the Planning Inspectorate.

At the bottom of the league table this year in the North West were Salford, Carlisle, St. Helens and Blackpool with 50% or more of their appeals allowed, significantly higher than the national average of 24%.


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
Allerdale 16 3 19%

7 3 43%
Barrow-in-Furness 6 2 33% A June 2019
1 0 0%
Blackburn with Darwen 3 0 0%

6 2 33%
Blackpool 8 4 50%

5 1 20%
Bolton 23 6 26%

26 9 35%
Burnley 5 0 0% A July 2018
6 2 33%
Bury 7 3 43%

4 1 25%
Carlisle 10 7 70%

7 3 43%
Cheshire East 82 20 24%

80 26 33%
Cheshire West & Chester 72 19 26%

53 15 28%
Chorley 12 3 25%

12 5 42%
Copeland 7 2 29%

1 0 0%
Cumbria 0 0 -

0 0 -
Eden 13 1 8% A Oct 2018
9 3 33%
Fenland 44 11 25%

32 7 22%
Fylde 15 6 40% A Oct 2018
16 5 31%
Halton 7 0 0% S March 2020
3 1 33%
Hyndburn 7 1 14%

3 1 33%
Knowsley 4 1 25%

3 2 67%
Lake District 17 4 24% S August 2019
12 4 33%
Lancashire 0 0 -

1 0 0%
Lancaster 23 2 9% S May 2018
18 4 22%
Liverpool 87 20 23% S May 2018
33 12 36%
Manchester 94 22 23%

61 37 61%
Oldham 13 2 15%

27 11 41%
Pendle 12 4 33%

12 1 8%
Preston 11 1 9%

7 3 43%
Ribble Valley 17 3 18%

17 5 29%
Rochdale 16 3 19%

11 2 18%
Rossendale 22 5 23% S March 2019
20 2 10%
Salford 10 8 80% P Jan 2020
13 5 38%
Sefton 19 8 42%

21 8 38%
South Lakeland 8 2 25%

12 3 25%
South Ribble 9 3 33%

16 6 38%
St. Helens 6 3 50% P Jan 2019
0 0 -
Stockport 20 8 40%

19 7 37%
Tameside 16 3 19%

11 1 9%
Trafford 19 6 32%

11 4 36%
Warrington 19 5 26% P April 2019
31 6 19%
West Lancashire 25 10 40%

20 5 25%
Wigan 8 2 25%

4 1 25%
Wirral 29 9 31%

19 10 53%
Wyre 21 3 14% A Feb 2019
13 5 38%

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, Eden had only 8% of appeals allowed in 2019/20 compared to 33% in 2018/19, no doubt linked to adoption of its Local Plan in October 2018.  Halton, Lancaster, Liverpool and Wyre experienced similar improvements.

Change over time 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);
    • 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.

Householder appeals

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


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

2018/19
LPAs in the North West number decided number allowed % allowed
number decided number allowed % allowed
Allerdale 5 0 0%

4 0 0%
Barrow-in-Furness 2 0 0% A June 2019
1 1 100%
Blackburn with Darwen 7 2 29%

11 3 27%
Blackpool 4 1 25%

0 0 -
Bolton 9 4 44%

8 2 25%
Burnley 4 2 50% A July 2018
3 0 0%
Bury 4 2 50%

5 1 20%
Carlisle 0 0 -

1 0 0%
Cheshire East 42 8 19%

23 10 43%
Cheshire West & Chester 10 4 40%

27 4 15%
Chorley 7 0 0%

3 1 33%
Copeland 0 0 -

1 0 0%
Cumbria 0 0 -

0 0 -
Eden 0 0 - A Oct 2018
0 0 -
Fenland 4 1 25%

5 2 40%
Fylde 9 6 67% A Oct 2018
4 0 0%
Halton 0 0 - S March 2020
5 1 20%
Hyndburn 1 1 100%

1 1 100%
Knowsley 2 1 50%

2 0 0%
Lake District 2 0 0% S August 2019
2 0 0%
Lancashire 0 0 -

1 0 0%
Lancaster 9 2 22% S May 2018
4 0 0%
Liverpool 20 8 40% S May 2018
24 9 38%
Manchester 8 1 13%

18 2 11%
Oldham 11 1 9%

14 4 29%
Pendle 1 0 0%

1 0 0%
Preston 3 0 0%

4 0 0%
Ribble Valley 4 1 25%

4 1 25%
Rochdale 18 8 44%

22 8 36%
Rossendale 1 0 0% S March 2019
6 1 17%
Salford 1 0 0% P Jan 2020
0 0 -
Sefton 8 1 13%

13 1 8%
South Lakeland 1 1 100%

2 0 0%
South Ribble 2 0 0%

1 0 0%
St. Helens 4 2 50% P Jan 2019
2 0 0%
Stockport 13 2 15%

9 3 33%
Tameside 16 2 13%

15 5 33%
Trafford 16 4 25%

17 6 35%
Warrington 11 4 36% P April 2019
27 10 37%
West Lancashire 16 3 19%

13 7 54%
Wigan 8 2 25%

4 0 0%
Wirral 6 1 17%

5 2 40%
Wyre 3 0 0% A Feb 2019
4 0 0%

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