Council reveals 47.5% increase in PD approvals

The number of permitted development schemes approved in Leeds increased by 47.5% during 2016.

A freedom of information request submitted by Development Finance Today revealed that 118 permitted developments requiring prior approval were authorised by Leeds City Council last year, up from 80 in 2015.

A council spokesperson said: "It is likely that there are numerous reasons why there was such an increase in permitted developments between 2015 and 2016.

"These include the new permitted development rights which were introduced in 2015 making it easier to change the use of buildings for a minimal fee, alongside changes in the economic climate which may have resulted in more people choosing to extend rather than move house."

Leeds City Council also reported a slight drop in the number of approved commercial developments, which fell 7% from 778 in 2015 to 723 last year.

Despite only a moderate decline in approvals, the proportion of rejected commercial developments almost halved from 8.5% of applications in 2015 to just 4.7% last year.

Approvals for residential developments stayed roughly similar across the period, with 303 successful applications in 2015 followed by 291 in 2016.

The news comes amid a wave of new developments in Leeds, including the £55m Granary Wharf commercial scheme, £40m Yorkshire Post site redevelopment and the proposed regeneration of the South Bank area.

Earlier this year, Leeds City Council announced £270m worth of infrastructure investment for the region.

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