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 July to September (quarter two) 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 19 major housing applications. The horizontal line at 48.5 weeks shows the mean and the horizontal line at 34.1 weeks shows the median decision time for major housing developments. Decision times range from 10.9 weeks to 148.0 weeks. 58% of the 19 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 a few lengthy decisions. There were seven applications with a decision time longer than one year. The lengthiest decision that took almost three years for an approval was for a residential development of up to 450 units, access and associated works. A further two decisions that took longer than 2 years include planning permission in principle for a residential-led mixed use development including approximately 1,700 homes, local retail and commercial provision, education, leisure and community uses and associated new and upgraded access roads, landscaping and ancillary engineering works. The other decision is an application for planning permission in principle for a residential development of between 280 to 300 dwellings on a 16.5 hectare site.
The second column of dots shows the decision times for the five major business & industry applications. The horizontal line at 33.4 weeks shows the mean and the line at 25.6 weeks shows the median decision time for major business & industry developments. Decision times range from 16.0 weeks to 62.1 weeks. The application with the decision time of 62.1 weeks is on a site with area 43.9 hectares and is described as the construction of a potato processing factory with associated water treatment plant, ancillary offices, access roads and parking facilities.
The third column of dots shows the decision time for the 20 major other developments. The category "other developments" includes any developments not falling wholly within any of the specific categories of development for minerals, housing, business & industry, waste management, electricity generation, fish farming. It includes, but is not limited to, retail, leisure and entertainment, education, healthcare, community facilities, transport interchanges, water and drainage developments and projects. It can also include mixed use projects. The horizontal line at 45.3 weeks shows the mean and the line at 23.3 weeks shows the median decision time for major other developments. Decision times range from 5.7 weeks to 284.1 weeks. The mean decision time has been influenced by two very lengthy decisions. 85% of the 20 major other development applications were decided in a time that was quicker than the mean. The longest decision time (5.4 years) was an approval for planning permission in principle for a development of up to 550 houses, a neighbourhood centre including retail and community uses, access junctions, new access roads, provision of a nature conservation area, associated roads and infrastructure. The other very lengthy decision (3.8 years) was an approval for restoration of a former land-fill site: potentially contrary to greenbelt development policy on an 18.5 hectare site.
The last column of dots shows the distribution of decision times for the four remaining major developments. These include one application for waste management and a further three for electricity generation. The horizontal line at 38.7 weeks shows the mean and the line at 34.4 weeks shows the median decision time for these developments. Decision times are 16.4, 29.6, 39.1 and 69.6 weeks. The longest decision time was an approval for the erection of 15 wind turbines, 1 meteorological mast, control room and substation building, temporary concrete batching plant, formation of 2 borrow pits, 2 temporary construction compounds, crane standings, access tracks and associated works.