Planning Applications for Home Improvements – What’s Hot and What’s Not

In the latest house price index, it was revealed that property in the UK had seen an annual price increase of 6.7%, with the average property now valued at £217,928. Naturally, with a rise in house prices will come an increase in home improvements. Recently, home services marketplace,, ran a survey which found that 1 in 3 renovate their property with the aim of increasing its value. As such, whether buying a new property or updating their current one, many homeowners will plan to renovate to take advantage of the increasing value. Consequently, many areas will see an increased rate of householder development planning applications being submitted to the government. Through these statistics, we can see the latest trends of home improvements in different regions across the UK.

  • Barking and Dagenham stands out with the highest increase of householder development applications since 2015 with an increase of 76.34%
  • 5 of the top 10 are either within London or a commuter zone
  • Lewes has had the largest decrease in applications, dropping by 48.49% since 2015
  • The only northern area to make the What’s Hot list is West Lindsey, which ranked 9th with an increase in household development applications of 34.13%

Plentific has taken it a step further by comparing 2015 with 2016’s number of applications to find out which areas are seeing the greatest rise or fall in home improvements. Here’s the “What’s Hot and What’s Not” renovation list!


London and its surrounding commuter zones are dominating our What’s Hot table with Barking and Dagenham taking the top spot with an annual increase of 76.34% in the number of submitted applications. Kensington and Chelsea also made the table at 3rd place with an increase of 39.94% in submitted applications.

As the runner-up, Wokingham saw an increase of 41.66%, whilst other commuter areas including East Hertfordshire (ranking 5th with 37.38%) and Peterborough (ranking 7th with 35.37%) also made an appearance.

The only northern area to make the What’s Hot list is West Lindsey, which ranked 9th with a 34.13% increase in planning applications. The lack of northern areas in the top ten re-emphasises the north/south divide in wealth, as southern areas have seen much more success with increasing property values.

From the midlands, Worcester ranked 8th with an increase of 34.82% in applications, while Blaby, a district next to Leicestershire, ranked 10th with an increase of 33.56%. Whilst from the south-west, the table features South Gloucestershire, which ranked 4th with a 39.49% increase in applications submitted, and Teignbridge which ranked 6th with a percentile increase of 36.86%.


The area which saw the greatest decrease in its number of submitted planning applications is from the south: Lewes shows a decrease of 48.49% in applications since the end of 2015. This ranking emphasises how Brighton’s market has been saturated by renovations in the previous years, and has consequently shown a drop over 2016.

Four of the areas to make the What’s Not table are from the north, including Chorley (4th with a decrease of 18.67%), Redcar and Cleveland (6th with a decrease of 18.18%), Allerdale (7th with a decrease of 17.42%) and Middlesbrough (8th with a decrease of 17.03%). The fact that a large majority of areas from the What’s Not table are from the north again highlights the region’s general lack of success with property values.

However, areas within London also make appearances; Islington ranked 5th with a decrease of 18.49% and Tower Hamlets ranked 9th with a decrease of 16.21%. Just north of London, Hertsmere ranked 2nd with a decrease of 35.63%.

From the south-west of England, West Devon showed a drop in planning applications as it ranked 3rd with a decrease of 19.7%. Whereas from the midlands, Melton ranked 10th and showed a drop of 13.25% in submitted planning applications.


London regions appeared in both our What’s Hot and What’s Not tables, ranking sporadically throughout the list. This distribution perhaps highlights the uncertainty surrounding London property values at the moment. Homeowners are unsure of the market’s direction and so many home improvements are more likely to be intended to improve living space than add value to the property.

Barking and Dagenham ranked 1st for London with a substantial increase of 76.34%, followed by Kensington and Chelsea with an increase of 39.94%. The only other central area of the capital to make the table is Southwark, where submitted applications for household developments increased by 9.99%.

The table has a couple of appearances from areas in the south of the capital, including Croydon (ranked 7th with an increase of 12.48%) and Bromley (ranked 9th with an increase of 10.53%), as well as Bexley (ranked 8th with an increase of 11.21%) in the south-east.

From the north, Enfield ranked 6th with an increase of 13.27% and Waltham Forest made an appearance in 5th with applications for household developments increasing by 16.94%. To the east, Lewisham ranked 3rd and saw an increase of 26.37% while Havering ranked 4th with a 17.59% increase in submitted applications.

Spokesperson for Plentific, Stephen Jury, said: “There is a great desire in this country to renovate and fully exploit the space a home has offer. Home improvements give homeowners the chance to not only upgrade their living space, but to personalise their property.

With property prices continuing to rise, we expect to see a consistent increase in the number of renovations in 2017. There are some who cannot afford to take their next step on the property ladder, so their only option is to improve, not move!”


Planning Authority Year ending Sept 2015 Year Ending Sept 2016 Change 16 vs 15
Barking and Dagenham 317 559 76.34%
Wokingham 1,001 1,418 41.66%
Kensington and Chelsea 1,267 1,773 39.94%
South Gloucestershire 742 1,035 39.49%
East Hertfordshire 840 1,154 37.38%
Teignbridge, Devon 407 557 36.86%
Peterborough 376 509 35.37%
Worcester 224 302 34.82%
West Lindsey 252 338 34.13%
Blaby, Leicestershire 295 394 33.56%


Planning Authority Year ending Sept 2015 Year Ending Sept 2016 Change 16 vs 15
Lewes 664 342 -48.49%
Hertsmere 1,207 777 -35.63%
West Devon 198 159 -19.70%
Chorley 332 270 -18.67%
Islington 611 498 -18.49%
Redcar & Cleveland 319 261 -18.18%
Allerdale 264 218 -17.42%
Middlesbrough 276 229 -17.03%
Tower Hamlets 290 243 -16.21%
Melton 249 216 -13.25%


Planning Authority Year ending Sept 2015 Year Ending Sept 2016 Change 16 vs 15
Barking and Dagenham 317 559 76.34%
Kensington and Chelsea 1,267 1,773 39.94%
Lewisham 637 805 26.37%
Havering 1,080 1,270 17.59%
Waltham Forest 555 649 16.94%
Enfield 1,093 1,238 13.27%
Croydon 1,234 1,388 12.48%
Bexley 1,178 1,310 11.21%
Bromley 1,938 2,142 10.53%
Southwark 671 738 9.99%


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