Planning Applications See 27% Increase Across the UK

September, 2017

Research from Halifax Insurance as part of the Dream Abode study shows that planning applications have risen by 27% across the UK over the last five years.

In national terms, and with a 60% hike, London saw the highest increase in planning applications between 2012 and 2016, followed by the East of England (up 31%) and East Midlands (up 28%).

Scotland showed the lowest appetite for home improvements, with planning applications growing by just 3% between 2012 and 2016, even marking a fall of 1.3% between 2015 and 2016.

The data, collected from a survey of over 2,000 UK homeowners also shows how Britain’s ‘dream home’ is changing.

What’s up?

  • Planning applications are up for:
  • Basements (+183%)
  • Single storey extensions (+49%)
  • Loft conversions (+43%)

What’s down?

Planning applications are down for:

  • Conservatories & porches (-3%)

Most wanted dream home attributes

If you were to apply for planning permission for one thing what would it be? Here’s what came in the top spot in the Dream Abode survey:

  • New kitchen (37%)
  • Bigger rooms (22%)
  • Extra bedrooms (19%)
  • Extra bathrooms (17%)

Melanie Backe-Hansen, historian and author of House Histories, said: “The way we live in our homes is evolving. Take the example of basements and the trend for extending downwards: this is probably down to a lack of space in our cities and towns, and it represents a big shift in the way we think about our homes. If we look back to Georgian and Victorian times, the basement is where you’d have found the kitchen and the servants’ quarters and was certainly not viewed as a space to be used for family life.

“The place of the kitchen has changed dramatically. In this study it takes the top spot on Britain’s ‘dream home’ wish-list, yet in historical terms the kitchen is a relatively modern invention. Where once you’d be lucky to have running water, today it is the ultimate status symbol and where we do most of our entertaining.

Jeremy Ward, Head of Home Insurance, Halifax, said: “There’s an ongoing desire to improve where we live, as this increase in home improvements shows. It’s encouraging to see that the nation is doing what it can to improve living situations as well as saleability – but in the creative excitement of developing their dream home, it’s important not to forget practical matters like insurance.

“Many people may not realise they need to let their insurer know about works they carry out on their home – just 14% of homeowners say they have notified their insurer before beginning work. It’s imperative to have the necessary insurance policy in place whilst carrying out the work and equally important to update insurance when the job is complete – failing to do so will invalidate the policy. On the positive side, however, having a burglar alarm or CCTV installed as part of home renovations could help reduce premiums, and also provide extra peace of mind.”

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