Commercial plans at its lowest level since 2009

Planning permission for commercial property developments have hit their lowest level since the peak of the recession, according to a new study.

Mirror image of a woman as she walks through Wellington Place in Leeds. The office park is growing the number of buildings on its site....Picture by Simon Hulme

Around 11,300 developments received planning approval last year, the lowest since 2009, said funding platform Saving Stream.

Lack of finance was leading to projects being “stalled”, said the report.

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Liam Brooke, co-founder of Saving Stream, said: “The banks just aren’t able to lend to commercial development on anything like the scale that they once did, and smaller commercial developments are struggling to get off the drawing board as a result.”

However, a number of Yorkshire developments were given the go-ahead last year and construction in Leeds hit a nine-year high, according to Deloitte in February.

The Crane Survey found more than 865,000 sq ft (80,400 sq m) of office space was under construction, including offices at MEPC’s Wellington Place (pictured).

Plans for a major new development on the former Yorkshire Post site on Wellington Street in Leeds were approved in February 2015.

Approval was given for 200 homes, offices, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities.

Meanwhile, in March construction and property firm Henry Boot said its portfolio covering strategic land, commercial development and construction projects, had never been larger or as far advanced in planning terms.

Barbour ABI, a chosen provider of construction data for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Government, predicted last year that planning applications for floor space for factory construction would increase by 40 per cent in the year to April 2016.