Big building projects rise

COMMERCIAL planning applications have risen 16 per cent in the last year, according to research by law firm EMW, though the number of major developments still lies below pre-recession levels.

English planning authorities gave the green light to 531 commercial projects over 10,000 square feet in the last three months of 2010, the research found, up from 459 at the end of 2009 but below the 679 developments approved in late 2008.

Large-scale projects of more than 100,000 square feet have also risen, with 120 given approval in late 2010 compared with 104 in 2009.

Office developments of over 10,000 square feet have also shot up, from 126 in the last quarter of 2009 to 148 in 2010. However, there were 200 projects in the same quarter in 208.