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TerraQuest News

- Jul 2021

Planning Market Insight Report: We are halfway through the year, how is the market looking?

As we enter the second half of the year, we thought it would be a good opportunity to take stock of the year so far. The first half of 2021 has certainly thrown up some challenges and developments, what with extended lockdown restrictions and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant, but it has been another strong six months in terms of application submissions with 387,427 applications being submitted through the Planning Portal. Last year we discussed how the data was ‘bucking the trend’ of what we would expect to see on a seasonal basis and whether this would carry on into 2021. We have certainly seen far greater numbers of submissions than in previous years, with March alone realising the highest ever with over 77,200 applications submitted in a single month. However, relative to the seasonal trends depicted over previous years, submissions are seeming to follow a similar pattern.

Following recent government announcements, it looks like a return to the office is imminent. From many of the organisations I have been in discussion with over the last few months, a hybrid working policy seems to be a very common way businesses will be working going forward. We’re wondering if this new working policy will affect the rate of application submissions and impact the types of applications we see submitted. Will householder applications still be the leading application type with people making the home improvements rather than move house? Or will we see a rise in change of use applications such as Office to Residential, as people no longer utilise the office space they needed previously?

Looking forward to the second half of the year, there is a lot still to come. As of 1 August 2021, several planning legislation changes will be implemented. These will affect a range of application types on the Planning Portal as well as the guidance we provide around common projects, and we are working to update the content on the service to account for them all. Further in this report, we have outlined these changes and what they mean, in easy-to-understand terms. If you would like to read about these in more detail, please feel free to read our blog.

Excitingly, we have also just opened registration for our third annual conference, to be held 15 – 18 November 2021. For the second year running, this event will be delivered to you virtually, but this time on our new conference platform which will give an even better experience and greater interaction between delegates, speakers, and sponsors. The conference will span over four days with over 30 speakers and 1,000 delegates, providing you with over 12 hours of CPD accredited content. Super early bird tickets are now available. If you work for the public sector or for a government body, you will be able to register for the conference for free. To do so, you must have a gov.uk email address. You can register for the event here.

We’re also going to be launching our new Planning Portal Community Hub very soon – the dedicated community for those in planning, building and development. The hub will be the one stop shop for industry-related content, webinars, roundtables and discussions, with excellent networking opportunities. Access to the community hub will be free to all users, all you have to do to access the content is to register. Keep an eye out for future communications to ensure you are included!

Sarah Chilcott  

Managing Director – Planning Portal  

The above article was provided to us by the Planning Portal.