3. Major Developments
Major developments include applications for developments of 50 or more homes, as well as other applications covering areas of development such as minerals, housing, business & industry, waste management, electricity generation, freshwater fish farming, marine finfish farming, marine shellfish farming and other developments. Classification between local and major developments depends on the particular development type. For example, housing developments are classed as major when the application is for 50 or more dwellings or for a site that exceeds two hectares, whereas electricity generation is classed as major when the capacity of the generating station is or exceeds 20 megawatts.
Details for the classification of all development types can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/278390/0083657.pdf.
This section presents quarterly information on average timescales across all major developments, along with separate figures for the key categories of housing, business and industry and other developments. Information on other more detailed categories of major developments is reported on an annual rather than quarterly basis.
Figures for all applications, which include legacy cases validated before 3 rd August 2009, are shown up to the end of 2016/17. From quarter one 2017/18, because of the limited number of legacy cases still being processed, figures are only shown for applications validated post 3 rd August 2009.
3.1. All Major Developments
For applications subject to average time calculations there were 63 major developments decided in quarter three of 2017/18, 6 (10.5 per cent) more than the 57 decisions in the previous quarter, and 10 (13.7 per cent) fewer than the 73 decisions in the equivalent quarter of 2016/17. The average decision time for these 63 major developments was 27.7 weeks, more than five weeks quicker than the previous quarter (33.0 weeks) and more than six weeks quicker than the equivalent quarter three figure in 2016/17 (33.9 weeks) ( Quarter 3, 2017/18 – Table 2).
The time taken to make decisions on major applications can vary greatly between planning authorities and the individual application so average figures based on a small number of applications can be volatile.
The average decision time figure of 27.7 weeks has been influenced by a number of lengthier times including nine that each took longer than a year. Of the 63 major development applications 41 (65 per cent) were decided in a time that was quicker than the average. Further information on the distribution of decision times for major development applications is given in Annex A.
Chart 23: All Major Developments: Number of decisions
Chart 24: All Major Developments: Average decision time (weeks)
In quarter three of 2017/18 there was one major development that was a pre 3rd August 2009 legacy case. Further details about legacy cases can be seen in Section 10.
There were a further 21 major development applications concluded in quarter three of 2017/18 that were subject to separate processing agreements. 16 (76.2 per cent) of these applications met agreed timescales that had been set between developers and local authorities. Applications subject to processing agreements are not included in average time calculations. For the most recent quarter, major applications with processing agreements accounted for a quarter of the decisions made for all major developments.
In quarter three of 2017/18 Glasgow City made the most decisions on major developments (15 in total); these had an average decision time of 27.3 weeks.
3.2. Major Housing Developments
Major Housing developments are those with 50 or more dwellings or with a site area that is or exceeds 2 hectares where the predominant use is for housing.
For applications subject to average time calculations there were a total of 31 major housing developments decided during the third quarter of 2017/18 and the average decision time was 33.8 weeks, more than two weeks quicker compared to the previous quarter (36.4 weeks) and just over five weeks quicker than the quarter three figure for 2016/17 (39.1 weeks) ( Quarter 3, 2017/18 – Table 7).
Chart 25: Major Housing Developments: Number of decisions
Chart 26: Major Housing Developments: Average decision time (weeks)
Average figures based on a small number of applications can be volatile. In this quarter there were seven Major Housing applications with a decision time of more than one year. 61.3 per cent (19 of the 31 major housing development applications) were decided in a time that was quicker than the average. For further detail on the distribution of decision times for major housing see Annex A.
In quarter three of 2017/18 there was one major housing development that was a pre 3rd August 2009 legacy case. Further details about legacy cases can be seen in Section 10.
In addition, there were 12 major housing applications that were subject to processing agreements with 8 (66.7 per cent) of these meeting agreed timescales.
3.3. Major Business and Industry
Business and Industry developments include construction of a building or structure for any of the following: use as an office, for research and development of products or processes, for any industrial process or for use for storage or as a distribution centre.
To be classed as major the gross floor space as a result of the development must exceed 10,000 square metres or the site area must exceed 2 hectares.
There were six major business and industry developments in quarter three of 2017/18 subject to average decision time calculations. These had an average decision time of 34.0 weeks more than nine weeks quicker than the equivalent quarter in 2016/17 (43.4 weeks) ( Quarter 3, 2017/18 – Table 10).
In addition one major business and industry development was subject to a processing agreement and met agreed timescales.
Chart 27: Major Business and Industry Developments: Number of decisions
Chart 28: Major Business and Industry Developments: Average decision time (weeks)
There were no Major Buisiness and Industry decisions in 2017/18 Q2 so there was no average decision time.
3.4. Major Other Developments
Other developments are developments not falling wholly within any other single class. They include but are not limited to retail, leisure and entertainment, education, healthcare, community facilities, transport interchanges, water and drainage developments and projects. This class also covers mixed use projects.
Major Other developments are where the gross floor space of any building, structure or erection as a result of such development is or exceeds 5,000 square metres or the area of the site is or exceeds 2 hectares.
There were 20 major other developments in quarter three of 2017/18. These had an average decision time of 20.8 weeks, more than six weeks quicker than the previous quarter (27.4 weeks) and two weeks quicker than the equivalent quarter in 2016/17 (22.8 weeks) ( Quarter 3, 2017/18 – Table 11).
Chart 29: Major Other Developments: Number of decisions
Chart 30: Major Other Developments: Average decision time (weeks)
14 of the 20 major other development applications (70 per cent) were decided in a time that was quicker than the average, while one application had a decision time of over a year. For further detail on the distribution of decision times for major other developments see Annex A.
In addition, there were four major other developments that were subject to processing agreements all of which met agreed timescales.