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Quicker decision times for housing developments

Published: 17 Dec 2015 09:30

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Latest quarterly statistics show shorter average decision times for major and local housing developments.

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

In quarter two (July to September) of 2015/16 there were 25 decisions made on major housing developments with an average decision time of 34.4 weeks. This was 30 weeks quicker than the previous quarter (64.4 weeks) and 4 weeks quicker than the equivalent quarter in 2014/15 (38.5 weeks).

For the 1,426 decisions made on local housing developments the average decision time of 13.1 weeks was 3 days quicker than the previous quarter (13.6 weeks) and 8 days quicker than the equivalent quarter in 2014/15 (14.3 weeks).

There were a further twelve major housing applications concluded that were subject to separate processing agreements, of which seven (58%) met the agreed timescale that had been set between the developer and the local authority. There were also a further 34 local housing applications concluded that were subject to separate processing agreements, of which 24 (71%) met the agreed timescale.

Planning performance Q4 graph

Excludes legacy cases and applications subject to separate processing agreements.

Key Findings for Quarter 2 of 2015/16:

The overall average decision time for all local developments was similar to the previous quarter, but quicker than the equivalent quarter in the previous year.

  • For the second quarter from July to September 2015 the overall average decision time for local developments was 9.6 weeks, similar to the previous quarter (9.5 weeks). However this was an improvement of almost 4 days when compared to the equivalent quarter in 2014/15 (10.1 weeks), and an improvement of over one week when compared to the equivalent quarter in 2013/14 (10.7 weeks).
  • For quarter two in 2015/16 the percentage of decisions made in less than two months was 75.0%, one per cent lower than 76.0% in the previous quarter. Equivalent quarter two figures for previous years were 72.3% in 2014/15, 72.2 % in 2013/14 and 68.8% in 2012/13.

The average decision time for local housing developments was at its quickest since the start of this data collection in quarter 1 of 2012/13.

  • There were 1,426 decisions made on local housing applications decided during quarter two of 2015/16. The average decision time for these local housing developments was 13.1 weeks, more than three days quicker than the previous quarter (13.6 weeks) and 8 days quicker than the corresponding quarter in 2014/15 (14.3 weeks).

The overall decision time for all major developments was almost six weeks quicker than the previous quarter and was at its quickest since the start of this data collection in quarter 1 of 2012/13.

  • There were a total of 57 major applications decided during the second quarter of 2015/16 and the average decision time was 28.3 weeks, quicker by almost 6 weeks compared to the previous quarter (34.2 weeks) and quicker than the equivalent quarters in 2014/15 (32.6 weeks) and 2013/14 (34.1 weeks).

The average decision time for major housing developments was 30 weeks quicker than the previous quarter and quicker than the equivalent quarters in previous years.

  • There were 25 decisions made on major housing developments decided during quarter two of 2015/16. The average decision time for these major housing developments was 34.4 weeks, 30 weeks quicker than the previous quarter (64.4 weeks) and quicker than the equivalent quarters in 2014/15 (38.5 weeks) and 2013/14 (42.8 weeks). The average has been influenced by five applications with a decision time of more than one year. In quarter two of 2014/15 the median decision time for major housing applications was 30.3 weeks compared to 37.6 weeks for the previous quarter. Average figures based on a small number of applications can be volatile when reporting quarterly trends.
  • In addition, there were twelve major housing applications (not included in average time calculations) that were subject to processing agreements with seven of these meeting agreed timescales.

These figures exclude pre 3rd August 2009 cases.

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 94.0% in the period July to September 2015, similar to the previous quarter (93.7%) and the equivalent quarter two in 2014/15 (94.1%).

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

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.

The full statistical publication along with excel web tables can be accessed at:

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Planning/Publications

The publication contains 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

More information on the Planning Performance Framework is available at:

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/planning/Roles/Scottish-Government/Service-Improvement

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at:

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About