Rotherham Council planning approvals drop to four-year low

Rotherham Town HallRotherham Town Hall
Rotherham Town Hall
THE number of planning applications approved in Rotherham has fallen to the lowest level in at least four years, according to new figures.

The data, released under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that Rotherham Council approved 734 planning applications in 2023 – down nearly 24 per cent on the previous year.

During 2020, while the world slowed down due to Covid, 1,001 applications were approved – two per cent more than in 2019.

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Data shows that 734 applications accepted in 2023 – 30 per cent fewer than in 2020.

Nigel Hancock, head of planning and building control at RMBC, said the number of approvals between 2020 and 2023 “mirrors the reduction in the number of planning applications received during this period with the percentage of applications granted remaining consistently around 90 per cent.”

Planning board member Cllr Simon Burnett, Conservatives, has voiced concerns that councillors feel there is a lack of support from officers when an application is turned down – against the recommendations of RMBC staff.

Mr Hancock responded: “Additional training sessions are held throughout the year to ensure that members are kept up to date and, due to the complex nature of the planning system, the council’s senior planning officers together with a legal officer are always present to help advise and guide members in decision making.

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“Planning decisions can be challenged in court and applicants have a right to appeal against any refusal of planning permission, as such it is important that good quality decisions are made.

“The council’s planning service is proud of its record of not having any of its decisions revoked in the courts by judicial review.”