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Comparison of success rates of planning appeals in the South West

There is significant variability across the local planning authorities in the South-West in their performance 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 SW with the best records for successfully defending their s78 appeals in 2020/21 were Swindon, Poole, and West Somerset, each with less than 10% of their appeals overturned/ allowed by the Planning Inspectorate.

At the bottom of the league table for the year ending 31st March 2021 was Weymouth & Portland with 100% of appeals allowed, although this is a little unfair as it had only 1 appeal.  The worst performing LPAs were Mid Devon with 47%, Forest of Dean with 45%, and Torridge with 45% appeals allowed.  The South West had a significant number of LPAs experiencing worse appeal rates over 2019/20 than the national average of 25%.

S78 planning appeals in the South West 2020/21 2019/20 2018/19
number decided % allowed number decided % allowed number decided % allowed
Bath and North East Somerset 45 22% 37 30% 52 29%
Bournemouth 0 - 61 20% 73 18%
Bournemouth, C & P 108 19% 28 21%

Bristol, City of 92 21% 55 33% 99 32%
Cheltenham 11 27% 8 50% 11 45%
Christchurch 0 - 11 27% 12 8%
Cornwall 154 30% 172 23% 190 26%
Cotswold 26 19% 28 21% 24 29%
Dartmoor National Park 13 23% 25 24% 19 42%
Devon county council 0 - 0 - 1 0%
Dorset 112 25% 22 18%

Dorset county council 0 - 0 - 0 -
East Devon 46 28% 55 27% 48 23%
East Dorset 0 - 37 30% 33 21%
Exeter 13 23% 8 25% 10 30%
Exmoor county council 6 17% 4 25% 4 0%
Forest of Dean 38 45% 36 33% 29 34%
Gloucester 13 31% 12 17% 9 22%
Gloucestershire county council 0 - 1 100% 0 -
The Isles of Scilly 0
1 0% 0 -
Mendip 42 36% 34 26% 18 33%
Mid Devon 17 47% 32 31% 15 33%
North Devon 25 24% 27 37% 18 39%
North Dorset 5 20% 21 38% 28 25%
North Somerset 27 22% 51 25% 35 17%
Plymouth 10 30% 30 13% 12 17%
Poole 2 0% 53 15% 30 23%
Purbeck 0 - 9 33% 13 8%
Sedgemoor county council 20 25% 14 43% 23 30%
Somerset 0 - 1 100% 0 -
Somerset West & Taunton 28 32% 10 50%

South Gloucestershire 64 17% 54 15% 43 21%
South Hams 38 26% 53 19% 32 31%
South Somerset 31 23% 28 39% 41 41%
Stroud 37 19% 32 22% 41 7%
Swindon 16 6% 26 15% 12 25%
Taunton Deane 0 - 17 59% 18 50%
Teignbridge 33 33% 44 30% 30 33%
Tewkesbury 33 24% 14 21% 27 26%
The Isles of Scilly 0 - 1 0% 0 -
Torbay 21 33% 33 15% 16 25%
Torridge 11 45% 31 19% 25 44%
West Devon 27 26% 26 19% 16 31%
West Dorset 4 25% 18 22% 25 40%
West Somerset 1 0% 17 35% 10 30%
Weymouth and Portland 1 100% 12 8% 7 43%
Wiltshire 79 19% 81 15% 62 31%

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

map_south_west_england.png

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

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