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Comparison of the success rates of planning appeals in the South East

There is significant variability between Local Planning Authorities in the South East 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 most successful LPAs for s78 appeals for the year ending 31st March 2021 were Adur, Crawley, East Sussex, Eastleigh, Fareham, Gossport, Reading and Rushmoor Councils, which all had 0% of appeals overturned /allowed by the Planning Inspectorate.  West Oxfordshire and Hart Councils also did very well with 8% or less of appeals allowed, despite larger numbers of appeals.

The worst performer this year (excluding those with only 1 appeal) was Arun with 45% of its appeals allowed. Other LPAs with a high failure rate were Eastbourne, Milton Keynes, Surrey Heath, Winchester and Worthing, all performing poorly with 38%-40% of appeals allowed.  This should not obscure a significant improvement in Eastbourne's performance since last year, when it hit 56% of appeals allowed.


2020/21 2019/20 2018/19
s78 planning appeals in the South East number decided % allowed number decided % allowed number decided % allowed
Adur 6 0% 2 0% 4 75%
Arun 38 45% 36 50% 25 52%
Ashford 38 29% 53 26% 10 20%
Aylesbury Vale 64 22% 89 30% 52 29%
Basingstoke and Deane 45 31% 33 27% 27 15%
Bracknell Forest 11 18% 28 25% 13 54%
Brighton and Hove 98 30% 190 34% 106 39%
Buckinghamshire county council 0 - 2 50% 2 50%
Canterbury 35 14% 60 23% 41 20%
Cherwell 21 29% 37 30% 37 32%
Chichester 35 26% 43 40% 23 17%
Chiltern 40 15% 43 26% 24 29%
Crawley 5 0% 12 33% 16 19%
Dartford 10 20% 27 19% 15 20%
Dover 14 29% 55 20% 40 18%
East Hampshire 23 17% 21 19% 11 18%
East Sussex county council 1 0% 0 - 0 -
Eastbourne 10 40% 18 56% 9 11%
Eastleigh 14 0% 25 28% 17 18%
Elmbridge 52 31% 67 24% 51 31%
Epsom and Ewell 11 18% 18 44% 14 29%
Fareham 8 0% 16 0% 15 33%
Gossport 3 0% 4 25% 5 20%
Gravesham 21 19% 39 18% 23 17%
Guildford 49 14% 77 18% 50 34%
Hampshire county council 0 - 2 0% 0 -
Hart 25 8% 48 15% 17 35%
Hastings 14 14% 21 19% 16 6%
Havant 9 11% 11 9% 14 21%
Horsham 47 30% 66 26% 36 11%
Isle of Wight 25 16% 39 23% 31 13%
Kent county council 0 - 0 - 0 -
Lewes 13 23% 23 22% 12 33%
Maidstone 38 29% 70 39% 48 46%
Medway 28 18% 39 26% 35 29%
Mid Sussex 31 19% 56 13% 52 17%
Milton Keynes 28 39% 36 31% 20 35%
Mole Valley 32 22% 46 33% 31 45%
New Forest 28 14% 57 11% 47 13%
New Forest National Park 24 29% 20 20% 25 28%
Oxford 22 18% 22 23% 32 25%
Oxfordshire county council 1 100% 1 100% 1 100%
Portsmouth 24 17% 18 17% 39 33%
Reading 18 0% 30 13% 28 21%
Reigate and Banstead 47 34% 55 27% 62 40%
Rother 17 24% 56 27% 40 28%
Runnymede 17 29% 22 27% 17 6%
Rushmoor 4 0% 10 30% 1 0%
Sevenoaks 39 15% 61 25% 36 31%
Shepway 20 15% 32 22% 11 36%
Slough 16 25% 27 26% 12 25%
South Bucks 33 24% 31 29% 32 22%
South Downs National Park 42 33% 72 26% 58 29%
South Oxfordshire 31 32% 61 34% 55 35%
Southampton 30 17% 67 13% 46 9%
Spelthorne 20 20% 16 19% 19 11%
Surrey county council 0 - 1 100% 0 -
Surrey Heath 20 40% 27 22% 26 19%
Swale 35 31% 41 34% 33 27%
Tandridge 58 24% 71 25% 40 18%
Test Valley 23 30% 33 12% 31 39%
Thanet 24 17% 44 23% 21 33%
Tonbridge and Malling 17 29% 46 24% 13 46%
Tunbridge Wells 19 21% 52 17% 35 14%
Vale of White Horse 22 23% 35 34% 26 15%
Waverley 42 26% 79 43% 55 29%
Wealden 35 20% 79 19% 33 30%
West Berkshire 55 29% 45 24% 48 31%
West Oxfordshire 27 7% 33 15% 36 33%
West Sussex county council 0 - 1 100% 1 100%
Winchester 23 39% 30 37% 29 41%
Windsor and Maidenhead 46 15% 75 28% 66 35%
Woking 15 33% 25 36% 22 23%
Wokingham 49 24% 51 33% 55 18%
Worthing 16 38% 18 17% 10 40%
Wycombe 35 14% 54 19% 32 38%

south_east_map.png

Map courtesy of Wikipedia, By XrysD - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link

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

To find appeals that are relevant to you, use the search on our Home page.

 

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