Our research ﬁndings suggest that the NPPF and the principles upon which it is based have not had the impact on local authority decision making anticipated by the Government. Although signiﬁcantly more applications are approved than refused, Councils continue to reject approximately 20% of all applications.
In contrast, the rate of success at appeal has improved materially, particularly at inquiry. Indeed, the statistics indicate that applicants have a 50% greater prospect of achieving planning permission following a public inquiry than they did pre-NPPF.
The failure of local authorities to formulate and adopt local plans to the timescales envisaged in the NPPF may provide an explanation. Applications are being refused by LPAs in the absence of robust, evidence-based policies. Convincing the Secretary of State that such refusals are justiﬁed is increasingly difﬁcult for LPAs in the face of the NPPF presumption.
The NPPF doesn’t not help you much for domestic extensions. For housing schemes however it does and these are more likely to go to PI. A more through statistical analysis is needed top determine if the causal variable is route of appeal or application use. I often dispair at the quality of statistical analysis in planning consultants reports.