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Comparison of success rates for planning appeals in the West Midlands

There is significant variability across the local planning authorities in the West Midlands 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 West Midlands were the Malvern Hills, Herefordshire, Coventry and Cannock Chase, with 15% or less of their appeals overturned/ allowed by the Planning Inspectorate.

At the bottom of the league table this year in the West Midlands were Nuneaton & Bedworth, Wolverhampton and Tamworth 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
West Midlands LPAs number decided number allowed % allowed
number decided number allowed % allowed
Birmingham 124 21 17%

50 16 32%
Bromsgrove 23 7 30%

26 7 27%
Cannock Chase 13 2 15%

6 1 17%
Coventry 54 8 15%

30 8 27%
Dudley 17 5 29%

11 3 27%
East Staffordshire 22 5 23%

13 6 46%
Herefordshire, County of 62 9 15%

52 17 33%
Lichfield 13 4 31%

18 4 22%
Malvern Hills 35 5 14%

38 10 26%
Newcastle-under-Lyme 21 4 19%

14 7 50%
North Warwickshire 12 5 42% S March 2018
15 8 53%
Nuneaton and Bedworth 8 4 50% A June 2019
9 6 67%
Redditch 4 1 25%

3 0 0%
Rugby 13 3 23% A June 2019
12 4 33%
Sandwell 15 5 33%

29 19 66%
Shropshire 72 17 24%

44 18 41%
Solihull 42 7 17%

18 5 28%
South Staffordshire 21 6 29%

18 7 39%
Stafford 13 4 31%

14 4 29%
Staffordshire 0 0 -

0 0 -
Staffordshire Moorlands 34 6 18% S June 2018
19 2 11%
Stoke-on-Trent 15 4 27%

6 1 17%
Stratford-on-Avon 82 20 24%

67 17 25%
Tamworth 5 3 60%

4 0 0%
Telford and Wrekin 25 5 20% A Jan 2018
9 2 22%
Walsall 17 4 24%

16 5 31%
Warwick 42 17 40%

25 7 28%
Warwickshire 0 0 -

1 0 0%
Wolverhampton 8 4 50%

9 5 56%
Worcester 7 2 29%

7 4 57%
Worcestershire 0 0 -

0 0 -
Wychavon 53 12 23%

40 13 33%
Wyre Forest 12 5 42% S April 2020
5 0 0%

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, Rugby improved their performance from 33% of appeals allowed in 2018/19 to 23% allowed in 2019/20, no doubt linked to the adoption of their new Local Plan in June 2019.  In the opposite direction was Wyre Forest, with 0% appeals allowed in 2018/19 followed by 42% allowed in 2019/20, again no doubt due to work on their Local Plan which was adopted in April 2020, too late to influence the 2019/20 financial year.

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:


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

Householder appeals 2018/19
West Midlands LPAs number decided number allowed % allowed
number decided number allowed % allowed
Birmingham 36 7 19%

29 4 14%
Bromsgrove 18 4 22%

20 5 25%
Cannock Chase 1 0 0%

2 1 50%
Coventry 9 5 56%

16 9 56%
Dudley 14 6 43%

12 5 42%
East Staffordshire 2 1 50%

2 1 50%
Herefordshire, County of 1 0 0%

2 2 100%
Lichfield 8 2 25%

8 3 38%
Malvern Hills 12 3 25%

8 3 38%
Newcastle-under-Lyme 3 0 0%

4 0 0%
North Warwickshire 0 0 - S March 2018
0 0 -
Nuneaton and Bedworth 0 0 - A June 2019
6 1 17%
Redditch 2 1 50%

1 1 100%
Rugby 2 0 0% A June 2019
1 0 0%
Sandwell 2 0 0%

5 0 0%
Shropshire 11 5 45%

4 1 25%
Solihull 9 5 56%

11 6 55%
South Staffordshire 1 1 100%

4 1 25%
Stafford 9 4 44%

7 3 43%
Staffordshire 0 0 -

0 0 -
Staffordshire Moorlands 21 5 24% S June 2018
6 1 17%
Stoke-on-Trent 8 4 50%

6 3 50%
Stratford-on-Avon 13 5 38%

13 2 15%
Tamworth 2 0 0%

4 1 25%
Telford and Wrekin 11 3 27% A Jan 2018
8 1 13%
Walsall 6 2 33%

15 6 40%
Warwick 23 4 17%

27 6 22%
Warwickshire 0 0 -

0 0 -
Wolverhampton 10 5 50%

7 2 29%
Worcester 3 0 0%

4 0 0%
Worcestershire 0 0 -

0 0 -
Wychavon 10 4 40%

10 2 20%
Wyre Forest 11 4 36% S April 2020
10 3 30%

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