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Although overall construction planning approvals during the three months to July experienced a dip compared to the previous three-month period, approvals are performing well when compared to the more stable period in 2019.

Detailed construction planning approvals across the industry are 14% up on the same period in 2019 despite being 20% down on the previous three months this year. And major planning approvals are 32% ahead of the same period in 2019, while being 35% down on the previous three month this year.

However, while it’s all very well looking at overall industry figures to get a general feel of industry performance, it’s the individual sectors’ planning approvals that will be of interest to most of our readers. With this in mind, we’ve taken a deep dive into this month’s Glenigan Construction Review to identify which sectors planning approvals are bouncing back, and which have yet to recover ground.

Housing sector planning approvals

Totalling £7,754 million, residential detailed planning approvals declined by a quarter compared to a year ago and 3% against the same period in 2019. Major project-approvals were weak, having declined 49% against the previous year and 27% compared with 2019 levels to total £1,356 million. Underlying approvals totalled £6,398 million, a decline of 16% against the previous year as well as a 21% decrease compared with the preceding three months (seasonally adjusted). More positively, underlying approvals stood 4% higher than the same period in 2019.

Industrial sector planning approvals

Industrial detailed planning approvals added up to £2,663 million, an 8% decline compared to the previous year but 109% growth against the same period in 2019. No major-projects were granted detailed planning approval, and this largely influenced the decline against the previous year. In contrast, underlying approvals were very strong and climbed 90% against the previous year and 28% compared with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, to stand 127% higher than 2019 levels.

Offices sector planning approvals

Totalling £2,200 million, office detailed planning approvals declined 14% against the previous year. Despite this, the value increased 92% compared with the same period in 2019. Major project-approvals totalled £1,264 million and increased 82% against the previous year as well as 401% compared with 2019 levels. Underlying project-approvals added up to £936 million and declined 50% compared to a year ago. However, the value climbed 1% against the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis and 5% compared with the same period in 2019.

Retail sector planning approvals

Underlying retail detailed planning approvals declined 8% against the previous year to total £571 million. More positively, the value increased by a quarter compared with the same period in 2019 and 13% against the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis. No major projects were granted detailed planning approval during the period although this was unchanged compared with a year ago and the same period in 2019.

Hotel & Leisure sector planning approvals

Adding up to £1,196 million, hotel & leisure detailed planning approvals fell 5% against the previous year and 9% compared with the same period in 2019. Underlying approvals were responsible for the decline, with the value falling 22% against the previous year and 25% compared with 2019 levels, to total £980 million. Underlying approvals also fell 16% against the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis. Major project-approvals totalled £215 million and were up on both the previous year and two years ago when no major projects were granted approval.

Health sector planning approvals

Adding up to £922 million, health detailed planning approvals increased 29% against the previous year and 107% compared with the same period in 2019. Growth was largely due to major project-approvals which, at £250 million, were up on the previous year and two years ago when no major projects were granted approval. Underlying approvals totalled £672 million and declined 6% against the previous year. However, the value climbed 10% against the preceding three months (seasonally adjusted) and 51% compared with the same period in 2019.

Education sector planning approvals

Underlying education detailed planning approvals totalled £1,245 million and climbed 5% against the previous year and 30% compared with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis. However, the value of underlying project-approvals fell 4% against the same period in 2019. No major projects were granted detailed planning approval, differing from two years ago, but remaining unchanged on the previous year.

Community & Amenity sector planning approvals

Underlying community & amenity detailed planning approvals added up to £243 million, an increase of 37% against the previous year and 36% compared with the preceding three-month period, to stand 17% up on the same period in 2019. No major project-approvals occurred during the period, although this was unchanged on both the previous year and two years ago.

Civil Engineering sector planning approvals

Adding up to £1,487 million, civil engineering detailed planning approvals fell by three-quarters, compared with a strong performance a year ago, to stand 16% behind 2019 levels. Underlying approvals, at £737 million, fell 32% against the previous year and 37% compared with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis. Underlying approvals also fell 42% against the same period in 2019. Major project-approvals totalled £750 million and fell 85% against the previous year. However, major project-approvals remained 48% up on the same period in 2019.

Glenigan customers can view the full August 2021 Glenigan Construction Review in your Insight pages.

Not a Glenigan customer but would like to see this comprehensive construction review? Please download the August 2021 Glenigan Construction Review here.