Publication - Statistics

Planning performance statistics 2019/2020: annual

Published: 21 Jul 2020

Summary statistics on planning decision-making and timescales for April 2019 to March 2020 with historic data going back to 2012/13. It is based on data collected by the Scottish Government from Local and Planning Authorities as part of the Planning Performance Framework (introduced in 2012).

13. Annex

13.1. Distribution of decision times for major applications

Chart 32: Distribution of decision times for Major Housing developments not subject to processing agreements (excludes one legacy case).
Chart showing the distribution of average decision times for major housing applications

The vertical line at 37.5 weeks shows the mean (average) decision time for major housing developments. The second line at 24.6 weeks shows the median decision time. Decision times range from four weeks to four years. The mean decision time has been influenced by several lengthy decisions. Just under 70% of major housing applications were decided in a time quicker than the average of 37.5 weeks and than a third (36%) of major housing applications were decided within four months.

Six decisions took more than two years, the longest taking 4 years. The average decision times for the six lengthiest decisions were 209.4 weeks (4.0 years), 196.0 weeks (3.8 years), 154.7 weeks (3.0 years), 129.0 weeks (2.5 years), 117.4 weeks (2.3 years) and 116.4 weeks (2.2 years). A further 18 applications took over a year.

The lengthiest application was for planning permission in principle for a 19 hectare residential development in West Lothian. The application was approved.

Chart 33 shows the distribution of the decision times for 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 and 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.

Chart 33: Distribution of decision times for major other developments
Chart showing the distribution of average decision times for major other developments applications

The vertical line at 27.3 weeks shows the mean (average) decision time for major other developments. The second line at 16.1 weeks shows the median decision time. Decision times range from 2.9 weeks to 109.1 weeks (2.1 years). The chart shows that the average decision time has been influenced by several lengthy decisions. Almost three quarters of major other developments (72%) were decided in a time quicker than the average of 27.3 weeks and 55% were decided within four months.

Two decisions took more than two years, 109.1 weeks (2.1 years) and 104.9 weeks (2.0 years). A further six applications took over a year.

The lengthiest decision, which was in City of Edinburgh, took 2.1 years and was an application for a combination of full planning permission and planning permission in principle for an outdoor leisure complex including water sport and training facilities, retail, food and drink outlets and accomodation. The application was approved.

Chart 34 shows the distribution of the decision times for major business and industry developments. The category " business and industry" developments includes 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. Due to the small numbers of applications for major business and industry developments, average decision times are very variable.

Chart 34: Distribution of decision times for major business and industry applications
Chart showing the distribution of average decision times for major business and industry applications

The vertical line at 22.8 weeks shows the mean (average) decision time for major business and industry developments. The second line at 17.6 weeks shows the median decision time. Decision times range from 12.4 weeks to 51.4 weeks. Almost 70% (9 from 13) of major business and industry applications were decided in a time quicker than the average of 22.8 weeks with 46% (6) decided within four months.

All applications were determined within a year. The lengthiest decision, taking 51.4 weeks was in Glasgow City and was for full planning permission for demolition of listed/ unlisted buildings and erection of an office building with ancillary ground floor retail and restaurant uses. The application was approved.

Chart 35 shows the distribution of the decision times for the remaining major applications that were concluded in 2019/20. These include applications for minerals, waste management, electricity generation and marine shellfish farming.

Chart 35: Distribution of decision times for remaining major applications
Chart showing the distribution of average decision times for major electricity generation, minerals, waste management and fish farming applications

The vertical line at 33.8 weeks shows the mean (average) decision time for the remaining major developments. The second line at 21.2 weeks shows the median decision time. Decision times range from 3.1 weeks to 115.1 weeks (2.2 years). The average decision time has been skewed by a few lengthy decisions. Almost 68% (15 of 22) of the remaining major applications were decided in a time quicker than the average of 33.8 weeks, 41% (9) were decided within four months.

One decision took more than two years, 115.1 weeks (2.2 years). A further four applications took over a year.

The lengthiest decision taking more than two years was an application for amendments to conditions to allow for continuation of mineral extraction at a quarry in Highland.

13.2. Statistics for other UK countries

Information and statistics on planning applications for the other UK countries can be accessed at the following links:

England: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/planning-applications-statistics
Wales: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/planning/planningstats/?lang=en
Northern Ireland: http://www.planningni.gov.uk/index/tools/about-statistics.htm


Contact

Email: planstats@gov.scot