Shropshire Star

Decade-low number of planning applications given green light in Shropshire as Labour promises reform

Fewer planning applications were granted last year in Shropshire than in any other year over the last decade.

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The number of planning applications given the go-ahead in Shropshire has fallen to the lowest in a decade, according to government statistics.

Figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show Shropshire Council decided on 2,752 planning applications in the year to March – down from 3,050 the year before.

Of these, 2,346 (85 per cent) were granted, while 406 were refused.

It meant the number of granted applications was the lowest figure of any year over the last decade.

In Telford and Wrekin, 94 per cent of 787 applications were granted, while 50 were refused.

Across England, councils decided 333,000 planning applications, 12 per cent down on the previous year and the lowest recorded figure in the last decade.

Of these, 285,000 (86 per cent) were granted, meaning both the proportion and total number of accepted applications slumped to a decade-low level.

The figures come as Labour promises to reform the planning process after the party's landslide election victory last week.

Labour said it will build 1.5 million new homes over the next parliament by "bulldozing" restrictive planning rules, encouraging councils to build on brownfield sites, and identifying lower quality areas in the green belt for development, termed "grey belt".

Speaking to ITV News, Sir Keir Starmer said his first action as Prime Minister will be to reform the planning system.

He added: "We cannot go on with the system as it is. Infrastructure takes years. Housing takes years to build. We’re too slow. We’re too expensive. We’re over budget.

"We cannot go on like that. We have to take the tough decisions to get the country moving."