10. Annex A - Distribution of Decision Times for Major Applications
The following chart shows the distribution of the decision times for major applications that were concluded between April to June (quarter one) of 2016/17. Each dot represents one application (some dots land on top of one other).
Chart 35: Distribution of decision times for major applications
The first column of dots in Chart 35 shows the distribution of decision times for the 30 major housing applications. The horizontal line at 48.3 weeks shows the mean and the horizontal line at 26.4 weeks shows the median decision time for major housing developments. Decision times range from 10.9 weeks to 177.4 weeks. 70% of the 30 major development applications were decided in a time that was quicker than the mean. The chart shows that the mean decision time has been influenced by several lengthy decisions. There were nine applications with a decision time longer than one year. The lengthiest decision that took over three years for an approval was for a residential development on a 4.5 hectare site with associated car parking and access. Other lengthy applications, all with decision times between 129 and 140 weeks, included a residential development with associated landscaping, roads, neighbourhood centre, community facilities and infrastructure works; the demolition of a former hospital buildings with proposed residential development of 323 units including the conversion of a former hospital building to form 36 flats, with associated car-parking, open space and infrastructure; and a residential development incorporating employment land, a neighbourhood centre, a primary school, open space areas, and a path and cycle network.
The second column of dots shows the decision times for the seven major business & industry applications. The horizontal line at 39.1 weeks shows the mean and the line at 17.7 weeks shows the median decision time for major business & industry developments. Decision times range from 11.1 weeks to 159.6 weeks. This quarter the average figure has been skewed by one lengthy decision that took over three years. The other six applications were all decided in less than 8 months. The one lengthy decision was an approval for change of use of 11.75 hectares of land from agricultural to business, general industrial, and storage and distribution use along with formation of access.
The third column of dots shows the decision time for the 21 major other developments. The category "other developments" includes all developments and uses not covered in one of the other specific categories of application. It includes applications for retail developments, food and drink outlets, hotels, hospitals, schools and leisure & tourism developments but excludes major developments for minerals, housing, business & industry, waste management, electricity generation, fish farming and AMSCs. The horizontal line at 30.2 weeks shows the mean and the line at 17.9 weeks shows the median decision time for major other developments. Decision times range from 6.9 weeks to 91.9 weeks. The mean decision time has been influenced by a few lengthy decisions. Two thirds of the 21 major other development applications were decided in a time that was quicker than the mean. There were 3 applications with a decision time longer than one year. The longest decision time was an approval for the development of a multi-user heritage trail and observation post on 123 hectares of land.
The last column of dots shows the distribution of decision times for the three remaining major developments. This quarter these are all for electricity generation. The horizontal line at 13.9 weeks shows the mean and the line at 12.0 weeks shows the median decision time for these developments. Decision times are 5.3, 12.0 and 24.4 weeks. The longest decision time was a refusal to extend the duration for the permission of a wind farm from 3 to 5 years. The reason for the refusal was that the area that the proposed wind farm is in has now been designated as a Special Landscaped Area and therefore has a higher level of importance in terms of assessment of the impact of development on its features and setting.
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