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Planning decision times published

Published: 4 Apr 2017 09:30

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

Latest quarterly statistics on planning applications decided in October to December 2016 show that the average decision time for local developments was three days slower than the previous quarter, but one day faster than the equivalent quarter in the previous year. The average decision time for major developments was more than ten and a half weeks faster than the previous quarter but one and a half weeks slower than the equivalent quarter in the previous year.

Statistics on quarterly planning performance in Scotland have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

In quarter three (October to December) of 2016/17 there were 6,604 decisions made on local developments, with an average decision time of 9.5 weeks. This was slower by three days compared with the previous quarter (9.1 weeks), but quicker by more than one day when compared to the equivalent quarter in the previous year (9.7 weeks), and is the quickest average time for quarter three since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.

Applications for Local Developments
Applications for Local Developments

For the 73 decisions made on major developments the average decision time was 34.2 weeks. This was more than ten and a half weeks quicker than the previous quarter (44.8 weeks) but slower by one and a half weeks compared to the equivalent quarter three figure (32.7 weeks) in 2015/16.

Application for Major Developments
Application for Major Developments

The average time figures quoted in this Statistical News Release exclude any applications concluded through the use of a processing agreement between the developer and the local authority, where an agreement on timescales for decisions can be made either at the beginning of the application process or at a later stage.

Key Findings for Quarter 3 (October to December) of 2016/17:

The overall average decision time for all local developments was slower than the previous quarter but quicker than the equivalent quarter three figures in each of the previous four years.

    • For applications subject to average time calculations and excluding one pre 3rd-August 2009 legacy case there were 6,604 decisions made on local applications decided during quarter three of 2016/17. The overall average decision time for these local developments was 9.5 weeks, slower than the previous quarter (9.1 weeks), but quicker by one day compared to the equivalent quarter in 2015/16 (9.7 weeks), and is the quickest average time for quarter three since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.
  • For quarter three in 2016/17 the percentage of local development decisions made in less than two months was 73.0%, lower than 76.3% in the previous quarter but similar to the equivalent quarter three percentage in 2015/16 (73.1%).
  • In addition, there were 312 local developments decided in the third quarter of 2016/17 that had processing agreements in place, with 268 (86%) of these meeting agreed timescales.

The average decision time for local housing developments was slower by more than one day compared to the previous quarter, but quicker than the equivalent quarter three figures in each of the previous four years.

  • There were 1,210 decisions made on local housing applications decided during quarter three of 2016/17. The average decision time for these local housing developments was 12.8 weeks, slower by more than one day compared to the previous quarter (12.6 weeks) but over five days quicker than the equivalent quarter in 2015/16 (13.6 weeks), and the quickest average time for quarter three since the start of this data collection in 2012/13.
  • In addition, there were 150 local housing applications that were subject to processing agreements with 133 (89%) of these meeting agreed timescales.

The overall average decision time for all major developments was over ten and a half weeks quicker than the previous quarter but slower by one and half weeks than quarter 3 in 2015/16.

  • For applications subject to average time calculations there were a total of 73 major applications decided during the third quarter of 2016/17 and the average decision time was 34.2 weeks, more than ten and a half weeks quicker than the previous quarter (44.8 weeks) but one and a half weeks slower than quarter 3 in 2015/16 (32.7 weeks).
  • The average time figure of 34.2 weeks has been influenced by a number of lengthier decision times, including three decision times that each took longer than two years. More than 70% of the 73 major development applications were decided in a time that was quicker than the average.
  • In addition there were 25 major applications that were subject to processing agreements with 16 (64%) of these meeting agreed timescales

The average decision time for major housing developments was quicker by more than nine weeks compared to the previous quarter but slower by almost four weeks than the quarter three figure for 2015/16.

  • There were 32 decisions made on major housing developments decided during quarter three of 2015/16. The average decision time for these major housing developments was 39.1 weeks, quicker by more than nine weeks compared to the previous quarter (48.5 weeks) but slower than the quarter three figure for 2015/16 (35.3 weeks).
  • In addition, there were 19 major housing applications that were subject to processing agreements with 14 (74%) of these meeting agreed timescales.

Local developments include applications for household extensions and loft conversions etc, smaller housing and retail developments, as well as various other types of local developments.

Major developments include applications for developments of 50 or more homes, as well as certain waste, water, transport and energy-related developments, larger retail developments, and other types of major developments.

The overall rate of approvals for all types of application was 94.2% in the period October to December 2016, a decrease from the previous quarter (94.6%), but an increase from quarter three in 2015/16 (94.0%).

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Background

The figures presented in this Statistical News Release exclude pre 3rd August 2009 cases and applications subject to separate processing agreements. Also, some applications exclude time periods in which particular delays have been outwith the control of planning authorities. Further information on these types of applications is available in the full statistical publication.

Read the full statistical publication containing a range of quarterly trend information on average decision times by development types and information on delegation and approval rates, appeals and local reviews, and enforcement activity. It is based on quarterly data collected by the Scottish Government from Local and Planning Authorities as part of the Planning Performance Framework, which came into effect from April 2012.

We would be grateful for your views on the format and content of this publication, or if you have any suggestions for improvements that we could build into future versions. Please provide us with feedback by emailing us at planstats@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

An explanatory document providing background information on the planning performance framework is also available.

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/About