Planning approvals surge in 2015
Planning approvals in the first two months of the year jumped by more than a third compared with the same period last year.
According to latest figures from construction information specialist Glenigan planning approvals in January and February were up by 36% compared to a year earlier, with a marked 54% expansion in non-residential approvals.
The latest figures point to brighter prospects ahead for construction despite construction activity struggling to keep pace with the surge in growth last year.
The Glenigan Index for April, which covers the value of projects starting on site during the first quarter of the year, is flat on a year ago.
By sector, residential starts remain unchanged on a year earlier, non-residential starts have dipped by 1%, while civil engineering starts are up by a modest 3%.
Allan Wilén, Economics Director at Glenigan, said: “The overhang of last year’s relatively muted rise in approvals, coupled with some private sector clients potentially pursuing a ‘wait-and-see’ approach during the run up to the general election, may keep starts subdued into the second quarter.
“However this replenishing bank of prospective projects with detailed permissions bodes well for growth during the second half of this year, especially if a credible government emerges quickly from the aftermath of the election.”
An east versus west split emerged in the fortunes of the English regions during the first quarter of the year.
Despite the UK as a whole seeing no improvement in starts, the North East, down through Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, East and South East of England all saw marked rises relative to a year earlier.
By contrast the South West, West Midlands and North West of England saw starts drop, as did London.
At £2.2bn, the overall value of project starts in the capital in Q1 2015 is by some distance the largest total for any UK region, but this sum is down 13% on the first three months of last year.
Aaron Morby | Wed 1st April | Construction Enquirer